Don’t have time to read the full review? Click here for a quick summary of the who, what, where and wine of this production.
19-year-old June counts calories in the lead-up to her big meet – but that’s just being health conscious… right? Her 21-year-old sister, Anna, spends her nights clubbing and swears she’s not a victim when the worst happens. Both sisters keep their shame hidden. But when their mother Dawn announces she is moving in with her boyfriend and Anna and June must move out, they come to know each other in a way they couldn’t have imagined.
Writer Miranda Michalowski and Director Jo Bradley have crafted a story that finds beauty and solace in moments among the mess, rather than waiting and wishing for the perfect, happy ending. It’s unique and refreshing to see a story portrayed this way as it seems more reflective of mental health struggles and how they can occur or pervade an otherwise full life. I also appreciate that these women aren’t ‘perfect victims’ but whole, flawed humans, and that this doesn’t reduce their worth or the culpability of those who wrong them.
Sisters June and Anna, played by Lulu Quirk and Samantha Lush respectively, are grounded and genuine in their portrayal as very different people tied together by lived experience; we see them arguing over trivialities one moment and supporting each other through considerable trauma and uncertainty the next. Quirk plays the role of a women struggling with an eating disorder with so much empathy and respect, and Lush really explores the layers and conflicting emotions of the rebellious sister in need of affection and acceptance when the worst happens. Their mother Dawn’s storyline, played by Erica Nelson, is a little patchy and underdeveloped in comparison but performed beautifully, capturing the complicated relationships that develop between parents and their grown-up children.
Filled with piles of moving boxes, the stage feels full without stifled and is adaptable without being minimalist. Costuming is quite clever as well, only needing to change a little to show the passing of time but consistent enough not to be a distraction.
Sound design starts and ends the show on an upbeat note and transports us convincingly to a club or swim meet. It’s presence in scenes is deliberate and well-thought out, its absence poignant and deafening. It was no surprise that sound designer Daniel Harten has also worked with Sydney Theatre Co and Griffin Theatre Co, both known for their effective use of sound in their productions, and his skills are really on display here.
Young Bodies/Somebody’s is a confronting, introspective and uplifting story produced with authenticity and respect for those experiencing the difficulties explored in the plot, and I would absolutely see it again.
Wine Pairing | Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is a grape varietal that produces full-bodied reds with lots of flavour and character. It’s also one of those wines you drink more of in Winter, snuggled up under a blanket while the rain or snow comes down outside. The characters of Young Bodies/Somebody’s are strong, capable and caring, and in their times of need I just really wanted to give them a hug! So, this is my version.
My Pick: Hesketh, 2018, Twist of Fate Cabernet Sauvignon, Limestone Coast SA
You can’t go wrong with a Hesketh wine. Located in the Limestone Coast, Hesketh’s take on Cab Sauv is balances fruit flavours of red cherry and blackberry, oaked flavours of resin and white pepper, and lovely Australiana flavours including eucalyptus and menthol.
|Aussie Season||21-28 May 2022, Flight Path Theatre, Marrickville, Sydney|
|Theatre Type & Genre||Play|
|See it if you like||confronting difficult issues, young adult/coming of age stories|
|Wine Pairing||Cabernet Sauvignon|
|Criteria for Wine Pairing||Full-bodied, lots of red and black fruit flavours, not too much spice|