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Fangirls - Brisbane Festival

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by Claudia Bianchi (subscribe)
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Get ready for ALL THE FEELS
Yve Blake - FANGIRLS

plural noun: fangirls
1. a female fan, especially one who is obsessive about comics, film, music, or science fiction.

I was invited to see FANGIRLS, a musical comedy written by and starring Yve Blake, at Queensland Theatre in South Brisbane last week. A Belvoir and Brisbane Festival co-production, directed by Paige Rattray. The show will run through to the 5th of October. However, I hear tickets are selling quicker than the roadside shrine to Harry Styles's vomit was erected in Los Angles back in 2014 (It was super fast).

'Fangirls' is a springboard dive into the heart and mind of 14-year-old school girl Edna. One thing you should know about Edna, she is in real-true-slit your wrist open-honest to god-lightning strike me- love with Harry. One thing you should know about Harry, he is in the world's biggest boyband True Connection and has no idea Edna exists. When an opportunity to change their one-sided relationship comes in the form of surprise concert dates in her hometown, Edna sees it as a sign. Clearly, they are meant to run away together and fall in love. Mission 'When Harry met Edna' accepted.

I LOVED this show, and if I could, I would watch it several more times and sign any petition to have this tour the country several times, seriously I have my pen out. It is hands down my favourite show of the year. Not just five stars, I am giving the show all the stars like confetti. My eternal inner fangirl started to SQUEEE ten minutes in and hasn't stopped freaking out ever since. It is relatable, fun, the writing is clever, and the premise is entertaining. You don't need to be 15 years old or live with one, to fall in love with this show.

Fangirls' has been Yve Blake's obsession for the past several years. It started when she met a fangirl that confessed she was willing to slit someone's throat for the chance to meet Harry Styles of One Direction. Naturally, this led Yve's curiosity down a rabbit hole of fan culture and eventually to the conclusion that fangirls are extremely capable and powerfully enthusiastic young women. Very much like young men who scream their lungs out and sometimes cry at football games.

I am sure there aren't many people who haven't been part of fandom at some stage of their life, whether it be a fan of a boyband, a girl band, DC or Marvel, TV shows or a sports team. Fandoms are the reason we have Comic Cons and Cosplay. "Veronica Mars" fans raised enough money for the show to get a movie. Organised Roswell fans sent a total 18,000 bottles of Tabasco Sauce to demonstrate support and the show ended up airing the third season. 'Chuck' almost cancelled in their second season but was saved by fans crediting the TV show for their Subway Footlong purchases, the show was renewed and ran for five seasons. I made several internet friends through 'The Office' fandom not to mention some treasured memories meeting the cast. Fandoms kicked off my writing obsession through episode reviews.

Yve said she is obsessed with Fangirls for their ability to do something incredible: to love without apology or fear. Fangirls and the fandoms they belong to are a force of nature, Yve has captured the magic of it by writing it in song and script. The show also highlights the different ways we are influenced and make friends. I have to mention that I loved the interaction between Enda and her mum. Near the end, I won't spoil it, but *air punch* Caroline, you are the best.

Yve (Edna) can do it all, belt out a song, dance, comedy, write oh and convincingly mimic a 14-year-old girl to a T. She is Enda and Enda is grand. The rest of the cast are names I predict we will hear a lot more of, on stage, screen and iTunes. Aydan (Harry) has real-life fangirls after appearing on The Voice. We all knew he could sing, but I didn't expect him to be such a performer. Kimberley Hodgson (Brianna) was a stand out for me, great vocals and well-tuned comedic instincts. 'Fangirls' marks James Majoos (Saltypringl), Chika Ikogwe (Jules), Ayesha Madon (Lily) and Sharon Millerchip (Caroline) Queensland Theatre debut. This young cast oozes talent, intensity and great chemistry.

Is the music available for download yet? Yve and Aydan, please tell me you are on to that because the music is phenomenal. I liked the set backdrop, a screen showing the world as we now know it, many people in little screens loudly struggling to get noticed.

Fanfiction also forms part of the plot structure. Fanfiction is a fiction written by a fan featuring established characters from a particular TV series, film, or a Celebrity. It is mostly looked down on as a mere teenage fantasy outlet. It can be that for some, but it is also a powerful tool for writers to practise writing without having to spend time creating complex characters. Fanfiction is the perfect place to develop a thick skin and the ability to accept constructive (and brutal) criticism. Believe me; no one is better qualified to dissect a clip, photo or facial expression than a fangirl (or boy) so you can imagine the feedback you would receive if you got something wrong. Edna knows what I am talking about! Let me drop you a little trivia before you scoff at young fangirl writers. Did you know that 'Master of the Universe' was posted as Twilight fanfiction on by E.L. James under the pseudonym "Snowqueens Icedragon" in 2009? Most likely not, but you might find it interesting that the Fanfic was later published as Fifty Shades of Grey. That's right Bella is Anastasia and Edward is Christian Grey. Stephen Moffat a showrunner for Doctor Who previously wrote fan fiction. Casandra Claire of Shadowhunter's fame wrote many Harry Potter and Lord of Rings fanfictions before launching her publishing career with The City of Bones. You see, the Fangirls you're underestimating are clever cookies just practising for greatness.

Queensland Theatre has truly given everyone a voice this season. 'Fangirls' celebrates unapologetically our joy of life and all the things we love. It let us know that it is perfectly acceptable to love with an open heart, maybe just don't break the law tho…

'Fangirls' was sensational. In words Enda would understand - I died, literally I died dead. A SQUEEE enticing musical celebrating fandoms that unite us, understand us and sometimes even save us. I am a huge FAN. My advice, buy tickets pronto!

Why are FANGIRLS scary? - TEDx TALK

7 September to 5 October in the Bille Brown Theatre
TICKETS AT: | Telephone 1800 355 528 |
Email |

Cast Includes Aydan, Yve Blake, Kimberley Hodgson, Chika Ikogwe, Ayesha Madon, James Majoos, Sharon Millerchip and Melissa Russo (Understudy)

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*Claudia Bianchi was invited as a guest
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Why? Most fun you've had in a theatre all year!
When: On NOW!
Phone: 1800 355 528
Where: Queensland Theatre, 78 Montague Road, South Brisbane
Cost: $35 - $77
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