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Review: Secret Girl Stuff at Flightpath Theatre

Review by Lauren Donikian

A single bed with an orange and white duvet, posters of Taylor Swift on the wall and fairy lights set the scene for Secret Girl Stuff. A 90-minute show that consists of a series of vignettes that embraces what it means to be a woman.

Starring six women and one man, the play is loosely based off a book of the same name. That explores girlhood and eventually womanhood. Although we know there isn’t a handbook to life, the vignettes act as a class in womanhood and what we can experience. There is the exploration of mental health, discussions of sexual violence and an overall feeling of the need to be accepted.

The setting stays the same, with the bed in the middle, a disco ball on the floor and a basket off to the side for the actors to throw their clothes in. For the most part the actors are in all black, unless the piece of clothing is necessary to the story, or they need to identify one character’s return. Props are nearby, like a make-up bag by the bed that contains paint and the bed itself becomes a character as it takes on the role of various settings. I would like to say that it provides safety and comfort, but that’s not always the case when we are telling women’s stories. 

The cast consists of Sophie Persson, Lycia Gunawan, Izzy Azzopardi, Madi Hough, Ella Earle, Angel Samu, and the token male Nicholas Pavan. Each with their own strengths, these actors shone through the funny scenes, and were believable in the heartbreaking ones. Angel Samu felt like mother earth – grounding and strong. Madi Hough broke my heart and Lycia Gunawan put it together again. Ella Earle was believable, and assured the audience that they were safe with her. Izzy Azzopardi brought some energy and spice to the performance and Sophie Persson showed a depth of understanding to each scene that she was in. Pavan, somehow managed to come across charming whilst playing unlikeable characters in almost every vignette he was in.

Lighting Designer, Paris Bell, made sure the vignettes flowed easily by using pink and purple hued lights for lighter scenes with some of the darker ones lit in blue or just a spotlight.

Blackouts also helped. Director and writer Mikaela Corrigan made the smart choice to make the most of the space. Using the entrance and the backstage as exits, the cast were able to run out of one entrance and enter from the other. To make vignettes that the whole cast could play in, enhanced the idea that women support women, especially in the toughest of times. 

This play explores the highs and lows that girls and women go through. I hate to say it, but it’s almost as if we are doomed from the start, but we don’t have to be. The choices that we make are ours and we can let them break us or make us proud. Especially when we all get together and support one another or when we accept who we truly are. 

Image Supplied


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