Do you remember that feeling? That heart-beating sweaty rush of giddy adrenaline as the lights snap to black and 20,000 people scream with all the love in the world?
Audience blinders and smoke machines go crazy, confetti canons explode over the audience and then you catch a glimpse. Through the curtains side-stage you can see the sliver of the unmistakable perfect hair and the skinny-but-not-too-skinny-because-they’re-well-toned arms of your future husband.
Sure there are four other guys in the band, and sure they all have good hair, but you’re here just for him.
You have always been there just for him. Ever since he walked onto the stage of that TV talent show in his mum’s cardigan and opened your heart and your mind and the heavens like a floppy-haired soft-spoken messiah.
I do, and this finding this feeling again has been one of the essential ingredients in my work with writer and composer Yve Blake on the new musical comedy. As her dramaturg (think part book editor, part consultant and part shoulder to cry on), Yve and I have dreamt up the musical we wish we saw as teenagers.
It’s partly the best pop concert you’ve never been to where you’ll get to pull your phone out to sway, and then dance on your seat. It’s also partly an Anglican high mass, where you’ll worship at the altar of the biggest boy band in the world.
It’ll also smuggle the messy lives of 14 year olds navigating school and the internet into your hearts. Yve and director Paige Rattray will make you laugh until you’re ready to cry. And then you’ll stop yourself laughing at these kids, because they’re just like you. They’re embarrassed by the thing that brings them the most joy in the world. People tell them that they’re a bit too much and need to tone it down.
The thing is, they’re not too much. They just enough. Being confident enough to say you love something shouldn’t be shameful. It should be a badge of honour you wear proudly. The superpower to love without abandon is something that too many of us have lost. If you had that feeling once and want to rediscover it, if you want to stretch your rusty squealing muscles,
FANGIRLS is just the glittery tonic you need. It sure helped me to re-embrace my love of Five. And Bardot. And of course One Direction.
Jonathan Ware is Dramaturg on Fangirls.
Fangirls is at Belvoir St Theatre 12 October – 10 November. Book your tickets now for the new Australian musical event of the year! Go to bit.ly/2kBMebh for tickets.