It’s not all serious symphonies or ponder-ment over big issues at this year’s Melbourne Festival. Those interested in seeing that has a big bold bunch of fun can do no worse that The Ladies of Our Soccur.
The performance, based on the novel The Sopranos by Alan Warner, profiles a bunch of schoolgirls heading out to a choir competition and their attempts to lose it, so that the can head to the school dance.
We had a chat with Caroline Deyga who plays Chell to tell us about preparations and the art of having loads of rollocking fun.
This performance throws so many different characters together with so many different histories behind them. How much does this diverse array of characters mould (or clash) on stage?
Like any group of teenage girls they mould & clash & that is where the ups & downs of the story come from. In the end though these girls are each other’s family & just like family no matter how much you fall out it doesn’t stop you loving each other.
There are many fun songs which you rock out on combined with more traditional, harmonious songs in this show. How much has this taught you about music?
I’ve learned a lot from the show about what music evokes in people & how audiences connect with it. Music plays a big part in people’s lives even if they don’t realise it! How often have you heard a song that has taken you right back to a specific time, place or person in your life? That’s what it’s like for the characters in the show. These songs are he soundtrack to the best day of their lives.
The piece has this youthful exuberance about it and evokes theses of freedom and youth. How captivating (or exhausting) is giving this type of performance on a regular basis?
I’m not going to lie, it is tiring, but not as tiring as you might think. Lots of people say they have no idea how we do the show twice in one day & to be honest neither do I because we just do. Along with being tiring it is also exciting, thrilling & an amazing show to be part of & even if we are tired we get each other through by keeping things fresh & that’s the joy of love theatre – no 2 shows are ever the same.
Which type of audience do you feel Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour would be more important for? Younger people of school age as portrayed in the performance, or adults who are wanting to remember their youth?
What I think is amazing about the show is that it is important for everyone whether they are about to head into adulthood or whether they are looking back on their teenage years. I would love it if more people who are the ages of the girls came to see it though. It’s about all the joy & all the pain that comes with growing up & I wish I had seen something like that when I was that age because it would have helped me realise that everyone goes through that & that’s ok.
What messages do you hope audiences take away from Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour?
I think the biggest & most important message in the show is summed up when Finnoulla says “It’s alright to be you.” That’s what the whole show is about as each of the girls try to find themselves they also help each other to do the same & they help each other realise that who they are is amazing & the loved for it. That’s a powerful message & one that I hope every single person that has come to see the show has taken away with them.
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is currently playing at Fairfax Studio in the Arts Centre Melbourne today and tomorrow. For more info and tickets, head here.
Photo credit: Manuel Harlan & Pete Dibdin