May 2022, Flight Path Theatre Marrickville
19-year-old June is a first-year student on her university swim team, counting every calorie in the lead-up to her big meet. Her 21-year-old sister, Anna, spends her nights going home with strangers from nightclubs and tells herself that she couldn’t be happier. 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, their secret lives begin to unravel.
June – Lulu Quirk
Anna – Samantha Lush
Dawn – Erica Nelson
Playwright and Assistant Director – Miranda Michalowski
Director – Jo Bradley
Producer – Carly Fisher
Stage Manager – Maddie Hodges
Production Designer – Hannah Yardley
Lighting Designer – Capri Harris
Sound Designer – Daniel Herten
Assistant Stage Manager – Rhiannon Mccabe
Production Assistant / Rehearsal Photographer – Aliyah Knight
Production Photography – Becky Matthews
Run time: 60 minutes
Content warnings: Sexual references, references to sexual harassment and pornography, references to sexual assault, depiction of eating disorders.
Show program can be found here.
“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.”Toasting Aussie Theatre
“Under the direction of Jo Bradley, the tone of the production was tender with the characters laying bare their negative self-images and insecurities as young women feeling the pressure to be perfect from all sides. While June’s obsessive training and diet control were familiar territory for media aimed at young women, Anna’s complex feelings about appearance, performance, desire, and consent felt original with a fresh perspective…. What Bradley and the cast recreated particularly well was the knife-edge of familial conversations when every line carries the baggage of a lifetime. “Night Writes
“Events are directed with assurance and passion by Jo Bradley. Expect to hear much more from young writer Miranda Michalowski.”Frank Hatherley, Stage Whispers
“YOUNG BODIES/SOMEBODY’S is an impressive first play by young Sydney playwright Miranda Michalowski.…Jo Bradley’s direction was assured.”David Kary, Sydney Arts Guide
“The actors all hold their own brilliantly. Samatha Lush is hilarious and effortlessly charming as the relatable hot mess Anna, Lulu Quirk has an incredible vulnerability and emotional capacity for such a young actor (being only freshly 19 herself), and Erica Nelson’s portrayal of Dawn has light and shade that will have you shaking your head at her parenting one second yet sympathising with her struggles the next.
The creative team should also be commended. Michalowski’s words are both heartbreaking and hilarious yet refreshingly relatable. Director Bradley toes the line between drama and comedy very well to create a well-nuanced performance reflective of all the highs and lows that come with being a ‘young body’. This is only further conveyed through the brilliant lighting and sound design by Capri Harris and Daniel Herten.”ATYP Youth Ambassador Tahlia Merlino
“Our mothers are our first homes, and that’s why we’re always trying to return to them. To know what it was like to have one place where we belonged. Where we fit.”
– Michele Filgate, What My Mother And I Don’t Talk About
“I am my mother’s child”
– Lorde, “Writer In The Dark”
The coming-of-age genre is full of 17-year-olds leaving high school and having big revelations about adolescence. But at 17, everyone is at the same place, more or less.
But 19? 21? Those ages are infinitely more interesting to me, because in the years that follow high school, young adults’ lives spread out in a million different directions. Some are working, some are studying. Some are living at home, and some have moved out. Some still get allowances and free rent, while others are supporting themselves. The spectrum of experiences is so vast that it’s very hard to measure yourself against your peers to check if you’re ‘on the right track’. This play celebrates that confusing, messy time in your late teens and early 20s when you feel all this pressure to be a “real person” but, you feel like you “have absolutely no idea what you’re doing”.
Miranda was 20 when she wrote this play, and I was 22 when I started directing it. It’s so important to us that stories for, and about, young women are told by young women, and we are very grateful to everyone in the audience for supporting young women’s stories.
It’s our first ever indie production and we have learnt so much in the last nine months. Although there’s been many challenges—including almost our entire creative team getting covid at different points in the past three months—I am so proud of where we are now. The whole team—Rhiannon, Daniel, Capri, Hannah, Lulu, Sammy, Erica and especially our producer, Carly—have worked so hard to make this show happen despite Covid making everything harder, and I really appreciate their dedication and commitment. I also want to thank Aliyah, Maddie, Jess and James for all their help in the lead-up to this show.
Theatre, cinema and TV are full of male writers and male directors telling stories about fathers and sons, but there are not nearly enough stories about mothers and daughters. I hope you enjoy ours.
This is for my mum.
Director of Young Bodies / Somebody’s