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Puberty Blues - Holden Street Theatres

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by Haydn Radford (subscribe)
Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events.
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First ever stage premiere of coming-of-age story
Puberty Blues on stage at Holden Street Theatre

Deadset Theatre Company (DTC), founded by three teenage, passionate, theatre enthusiasts Zoe Muller, Jean Collins and Matilda Butler have successfully created another Adelaide first with their staging of the world premiere of Puberty Blues at Holden Street Theatres in October, 2017.

Many of you will remember Puberty Blues as Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey's autobiographical, frank and funny coming-of-age-novel and/or Bruce Beresford's movie, which has become a cult classic and was followed by the popular TV series.

This lively story is noted for its raw, in-your-face dialogue, "dick-head land, fish-faced moll, rootin' machine" and "meltin' our tits off." The company name, Deadset pays homage to the expression 'deadset' which is term common to the coolest surfer gang and its female followers.

Originally set in Sydney's surf scene in the 1970's, the story follows the misadventures of two teenage girls, Debbie and Sue. Their lives revolve around male surfers, panel vans, skipping school, drugs, getting wasted, being cool and fitting in and being accepted by a surfer gang which forces them to grow up sooner than they should.

Puberty Blues on stage at Holden Street Theatre
Standing from left to right: Cullen Gorman, Ben Proeve, Jack Cummins, Jesse Romeo, Brad McCarthy and Henry Cooper. Seated from left to right: Daisy Khiev, Jean Collins, Kate Owen and Monique Thomas. Front: Matilda Butler , Zoe Muller.

Muller, Collins and Butler have been performing on stage together since the age of nine. While they were seeking more opportunities to stage more shows the idea came to them to create their own amateur theatre company for young adults. The aim of DTC is to produce shows with a focus on young adults, which will give more opportunities for young actors to showcase their talent. This dream has now become a reality with the announcement of their debut stage show.

"Puberty Blues is a raw, honest look of what life was like in the 1970's surfing scene and we hope to portray this within the stage adaptation," said Muller.

She started adapting Puberty Blues at 15 in 2015, "writing a script that a friend and I would perform to each other, just for fun. I was really enjoying the process so I decided to look into it further." After contacting many publishing companies linked to the novel, Muller finally got in contact with Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey's agents. She then managed to gain the rights to adapt the iconic novel into a stage play. It is the first stage version to gain approval from the authors.

When Tim, Malcolm and Peter from Verendus Theatrical heard about the staging of Puberty Blues they offered to produce the show and support the production every step of the way," said Muller.

"We held auditions and were thrilled with the large number of responses. We now have a cast of 14 extremely talented and dedicated young adults," she said.

The Cast: Matilda Butler, Zoe Muller, Brad McCarthy, Henry Cooper, Kate Owen, Jean Collins, Jesse Romeo, Cullen Gorman, Veronika Wlodarczyk, Jack Cummins, Monique Thomas, Ben Proeve, Daisy Khiev and Daniel Knowles.

The play is receiving a lot of attention as a wide variety of people are interested in seeing the show on stage. There are people who were teenagers in the 70's excited to see Puberty Blues as they were familiar with the novel and movie released in the late 70's and early 80's.

"We are also receiving quite a large amount of interest from teenagers now who are familiar with the TV series that aired in 2012."

When Muller, Collins and Butler complete high school in 2018 they plan to attend university. Muller said, "They would like Deadset Theatre Company to continue while they further their studies."
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Why? Wonderful opportunity to re-visit the 1970's surfie scene and experience this premiere production of this cult classic on stage. RATED MA15
When: 8.00 pm October 25, 27 & 28. Also 4.00 pm on 28.
Phone: 08 8225 8888
Where: Holden Street Theatre, 34 Holden Street, Hindmarsh
Cost: ADULT $20. CONCESION/STUDENT $15 - Plus Booking Fee. Tickets available at
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