Tag Archives: Party Girl

Party Girl

26 May

“I don’t believe in anything,” says a woman dressed as a fairy.

It’s a provocative line, in several ways.

It encapsulates the key tension driving this very funny piece: an earthy, jaded, sharp-mouthed protagonist pretends to be a magical, fantastical being. It’s how you add some glitter to children’s parties. It’s also how you pay for your next bottle of vodka.

Lucy Heffernan, who wrote and performs Party Girl, is extraordinary. Her magnificent stage presence, her marvellous voice, her mean electric guitar all result in this under-an-hour show being a theatrical joy.

Fairy Sparkles tells of a day performing at kid’s parties. Linking her tale together are references to the rules of being a fairy. They are nothing but practical: Arrive in costume. Don’t be late. Don’t park too close to the birthday girl’s house. Don’t smoke.

But it’s not just the contrast between fictional fantasy and cynical pragmatism that fuels the show. At home, Mum is falling apart, a victim of mental illness. Where’s the magic in a world where this can happen? It’s hard to be ethereal when shit’s so real.

Director Lily Hayman uses the KXT traverse stage beautifully. A blank space, it slowly fills with detritus. It’s lit evocatively by Tyler Fitzpatrick, her design suggesting both rock performance with haze and the confusion of conflicting visions of life.

Linked to the whole pub rock vibe is the show’s awareness of class inequality, reinvigorating in a theatre scene currently focussing on alternative theories of privilege.   

Which oddly enough, brings me to the other way in which “I don’t believe in anything” is a provocative statement.

It’s a line that draws attention to the glorious ambiguity of that word believe. Believe to be true or believe to be of value? A thing can be true but not important (or helpful.) Can things be not true but important (or helpful)?

Yes, that’s what magic is. Not the magic that happens to you; I mean the type you cast yourself.  The world we experience is the spell we cast….up to a point. Where exactly that point is, the point where our personal magic ceases and the brute force of reality takes over – and it will – is a thing to argue. And a thing to test.

Paul Gilchrist

Party Girl by Lucy Heffernan

at KXT until May 28, as part of the TAPE OVER Festival


Image by Clare Hawley