When Scotland’s woman-led theatre company Stellar Quines came together with children’s theatre organisation Imaginate to create their first ever co-production, in the Spring of 2019, Australian writer Finegan Kruckemeyer’s award-winning play This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing seemed like an obvious choice for the project. First seen in Buenos Aires and Sydney in 2011 - and now also available in book form - it’s not a story for the youngest of children. Yet out of his tale of three triplet sisters abandoned in the forest by their grief-stricken father after their mother dies, Kruckemeyer weaves a powerful 21st century feminist fairytale about how three young women - outwardly identical, but inwardly very different - find their own paths through the vital years between 13 and 33, as adolescence turns to young adulthood, and important life tasks demand to be completed.
So the oldest travels westward round the world, while the middle sister travels east; and the youngest remains where she is, in the forest where they grew up. It’s not that any of these paths is right or wrong. It’s simply that each girl has to write her own story, and take responsibility for her own fate; and finally, to reach some kind of resolution with the father who could not care for them.
In Jemima Levick’s production - seen on tour around Scotland and at the 2019 Edinburgh International Children’s Festival - the play was staged on a colourful, playful set by Jean Chan that reminded us how such epic journeys are played out every day in children’s games; it also featured powerful movement sequences by choreographer EJ Boyle. Here, though - stripped back and in lockdown - the full cast of four give us the opening sequence of Kruckemeyer’s eloquent and beautifully written legend for our times; with its vital message that happy endings are often unexpected, and absolutely need not all look the same.
For more on Stellar Quines, visit https://www.stellarquines.com/
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