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.
Mental illness has been a fringe conversation for many years now whether in discussion of the government reducing or stagnating essential services for mental health care, or as a sticky glob hurled at politicians who don’t perform appropriately, or as the mysterious explanation for violent tragedy. The truth is that mental illnesses like depression and consequences like suicide are painful, complicated, and very common.
The Packer family have been a prominent name in the Australian media industry since the 1930s. They founded some of Australia’s leading media institutions across print and television and are well-known for building a national empire and amassing phenomenal wealth. Packer & Sons works to see past the privilege of the Packer name to look at the abuse, cruelty, and toxic masculinity that shaped the relationships between fathers and sons.
Have you ever loved something so much that it took over your world, pushing things like family and school into subplots and background information to the fateful love story at the centre of it all? Have you ever felt that way about someone you’ve never met? Never seen or touched in real life? Someone who doesn’t know you exist? That overwhelming, all consuming sensation is called being a fangirl.
Advances in science can revolutionise the world, bringing great change to health, agriculture, and where we see ourselves in the universe. But there are some people who don’t want the world to change. Life of Galileo reflects the mind’s paradox back at the audience and circles history around an age old opposition.
Loving someone, especially family, is a constant reckoning. Growing up, learning more about yourself, and making life-shaping decisions change the makeup of relationships and family dynamics, sometimes irreparably. In Andrew Bovell’s newest drama, Things I Know To Be True, the Price family meets a period of great change head-on.￼
Neecy has organised to have three generations of her family to meet at their traditional family camping spot for a secret occasion. Choosing to ignore their personal crises for the weekend, the women wear away the shine of happy quality time very quickly. The intrusion of a controversial photographer, employed to document the event by Neecy, doesn’t help to stabilise rocky communication.
Barbara and René are sisters and cousins and singing partners. They’re scraping together a living at odd gigs in Sydney but, when their mother gets sick, they go on a journey to find her first in Darwin and then back in their hometown of Katherine. It isn’t easy to return to a place you ran from and, for Barbara, even harder to remember somewhere that abandoned you. This rock musical about family and belonging, written by Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine, returns to the Belvoir stage a year and a half after its world premiere.
Mental illness is a very isolating experience because many of the symptoms of mental illnesses, especially depression, attack the parts of the mind that interpret relationships, make meaningful connections, and experience joy. Often the effects of mental illness are not felt until a tragedy occurs, a suicide or another violent physical manifestation of the illness, when the impact radiates outwards through family, friends, and communities.
Four people enter a supermarket like any ordinary Tuesday. To their shopping trips they bring the baggage of their families, problems, and personalities. Soon they will share the connection of witnessing a violent attack but, for now, they wander the aisles and think to themselves.