Fangirls | Belvoir, Queensland Theatre & Brisbane Festival with Australian Theatre for Young People

Image by Brett Boardman

This review comes from Night Writes guest reviewer Brianna McCarthy.

Fangirls is a hilarious and beaming musical production that has just opened for a second season at the Seymour Centre after a wildly successful run at Belvoir in 2019. The show brilliantly engages in vindicating the passionate highs and lows of growing up as a girl, falling into all-consuming love with teen idols and discovering what it truly means to be yourself.

This is quite a show, and its reputation precedes it. Half of the show goers that I chatted to had actually already seen it at Belvoir and were bringing enthusiastic friends to experience it again. Having not seen it before, I wondered what about this show could be so great to have accumulated a fanbase of its own. Well, what I witnessed in the musical was dazzling, electrifying and rather infectious. By the end I myself felt like a screaming fangirl, shamelessly immersed in the empowering feeling of love and enthusiasm. Booming sound design (Sound Designer Michael Waters) and skin tingling vocals (Music Director Zara Stanton) paired with audience interaction, recreated in the theatre the reminiscent feeling of being at a boy band concert. The collective audience learned to leave our conforming cynicism at the door, allowing ourselves to wholeheartedly enjoy the fleeting time we have. Vivacious choreography (Choreographer Leonard Mickelo) and breathtaking musicality were brought to the stage at a huge scale. The hyperactivity and the hyper-captivating nature of it all made for quite an exciting night.

The script (Book, Music, and Lyrics by Yve Blake) was hilarious and delivered skilfully by a cast that brought to me an unusual kind of humour that I don’t get to see often enough. The energy and extremes of early teenage fangirls were so funny without needing to be depreciative. The characters were larger-than-life with hearts even bigger. They were beautiful too because they were still connected with the parts of themselves that dared to dream. It was very much in touch with the fanfiction writing, late night internet chatting culture of these fanbases and the light cast on it was just marvellous.

After seeing Fangirls, I feel more fond of the parts of myself – teenage and adult – that can love so intensely. I feel connected with those I was an audience with, and glad to be so zealously alive. I recommend this show for families or friends to see together, for it is a lovely thing to share.

Fangirls is running at the Seymour Centre from February 3rd – 20th

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