The Girl Who Was a 100 Girls

 

The following was copied from In Daily, Adelaide’s daily Independent Electronic News.

DISCUSSIONS about hope and the plight of ancient Greek goddess Elpis cast the seeds which grew into this production. How does a person preserve hope when all seems lost? What might a kidnapped girl hope for, when she’s locked alone in a room?

Director Glenn Hayden and award-winning playwright (and ex-Urban Myth member) Finnegan Kruckemeyer have created an epic tale of eight young women who each struggle in their own ways against what appear to be insurmountable challenges. They may have lived in different times and far apart, but they are all linked by a shadowy secret, and a treasured photo holds the key to their mystery connection.

The Girl Who Was 100 Girls is a play full of strong female characters, and at times it seems like a bit of a battle for prominence. The quieter moments are welcome and several extended monologues give a chance for individual talents to shine. Sophie Christie’s Sarah, grieving for her lost brother, shows strength as well as sorrow as she clings to her dream. Lauren Reid, as Melanie, the sister left behind, is exceptional. Her retelling of the moment she finally succumbed to grief is affecting and one of the play’s most successful scenes.

The Goodwood Institute, Urban Myth Theatre Company’s new home, felt just right for this show. Red velvet drapes and the exposed rafters of the old vaulted ceiling framed a stage set simply with corrugated-iron wings and a raised, rear platform – an atmospheric and adaptable design by Kerry Reid which made it easy to imagine locations ranging from 1800s Spain to the present day “somewhere”.

Vocal accompaniment from an all-ages women’s choir, led by Carol Young, leant an edginess and depth of emotion that balanced the occasionally overwrought acting. Members of the large ensemble cast all gave gutsy performances, and deserved the applause which followed the revelatory final scenes. A strong, dark, but ultimately positive piece of theatre.

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