So pleased to see how well all the cast grew into their parts in Here Come The Girls. ‘Parts’ not just written for them, but actually them, having said the words in the first place.
The composition, I think of it as this rather than being a play, went through several drafts. Each lighter and leaner. The piece’s unifying principle got stronger – what it is to be young and female right now and what those girls feel about becoming a woman.
Verbatim is a strange form and I suppose Here Come the Girls is that sub-category known as testament theatre. Each person telling their truth or their story. Here we had eight. But the piece must also have a shape, have light and shade, have humour as well as poignancy. These were the requirements, as well as making sure no-one got overshadowed, the best of each person was heard, no words added by the writer. A nerve-wracking puzzle in a different way from writing a play from scratch and making everything up.
The final draft had to shed a lot of well-loved text and I worried whether there was enough of each individual to let her light shine through but of course there was. In theatre, the fact and form of each figure just speaks volumes, all the more so perhaps that when the words do come they’re as subjective as they can possibly be.
Amy Golding the director produced one of the slickest, most graceful and joyous pieces of youth theatre that I’ve ever seen. To think that the cast only met a couple of times a week was amazing. Each young woman looked so confident and stylish and the staging decisions had real flair and energy. The colourful chairs and ladders were used to brilliant effect – creating a sort of mood topography, conveying things physically as in the case when Rosanna sat halfway up a ladder downstage right to deliver a speech that started “I used to be a refugee..”
Seeing the ten-feet tall confidence of some of the girls was a text-book example of the power of youth theatre. Some had come along, mumbling and shy and now were telling their story with such sass and strength you knew they’d never look back.
Lovely to see things come to fruition, lovely to have been part of the process.