FANGIRLS – 2021 Adelaide Festival Review
FANGIRLS is an energetic, youthful and fun musical with excellent messages about family, friends and enjoying what you love – no matter what other people think.
FANGIRLS cheekily explores many of the difficulties of coming of age, including friendship drama, family life, school, and the horrific injustice of your mum refusing to buy you tickets to a concert you are dying to go to.
The musical puts you in the shoes of fourteen year old Edna, who will do whatever it takes to meet Harry, her favourite member of the biggest boyband in the world – True Connection. Edna thinks she can see sadness behind Harry’s eyes and believes that he feels trapped by his management, fame, and his band. Her chance to save him presents itself when True Connection announces they’re going to tour Australia, and we see that Edna will stop at nothing to ‘free’ her idol.
FANGIRLS explores the complexities and dynamics of teenage friendship through Edna and her two best friends, Jules and Brianna, however it also shows each of the girls struggling with their individual insecurities and adversities. The musical highlights the community aspect of fandoms and the sense of belonging they often provide for teenagers, a space for like-minded people to escape their problems and troubles, as well as a place to get support in tough times.
The musical also makes an excellent point about how fangirls are perceived in our society, playing around with the inequality prevalent in this perception. There is a fantastic song highlighting that a mob of screaming and crying fans are ‘embarrassing’ if they are girls at a pop concert, but ‘passionate’ if they are male and at a footy match.
The entire cast is incredible and really capture the youthful spirit of the play, with Edna, Jules, Brianna and Edna’s mother Caroline all giving standout performances. Harry is also perfectly cast, and with all the hair flicks and attitude of a teen pop idol.
All of the songs are both hilarious and heartfelt in the right moments. There are fun songs where Edna dances around in her bedroom dreaming of Harry with accompanying cheesy moves, and beautiful ones where Caroline sings to her daughter about how she is Edna’s biggest fan.
One of the highlights of the musical was the True Direction concert. Harry’s songs about how great girls look in their jeans and how they don’t know they’re beautiful all have the same spirit as some of your favourite boyband’s songs – hilariously generic, applying to almost any girl on the planet, yet so catchy and ‘poptastic’ that you can’t help but nod your head along.
FANGIRLS is on as part of the Adelaide Festival at the Showgrounds. It is suitable for tweens, teens and above, with some strong language, sexual references and dark themes in parts of the play.
For more information and all enquiries please visit the Adelaide Festival website.
When: Playing until 14 March 2021
Where: Ridley Centre, Adelaide Showground | Goodwood Road, Wayville
Who: Tweens, Teens and above
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