By Gita BezardDrama Black Swan State Theatre Company
Girl Shut Your Mouth
Katie, Grace, Mia and Darcy are your average 16-year-old girls. They love boys and dresses and the idea of a feminist future. Everything about them is normal. Except their friends die on a monthly basis. Except their lives are in danger if they go out after dark. Except they aren't really your average 16-year-old girls at all.
In an attack on their school, Katie was shot, and her bullet means that now she's going to leave this place. She's heading to a place where they welcome you with open arms, where no one tells you what to do, where you can live and believe and act how you want.
Darcy's been through her own ordeal, but Grace and Mia are wracked with jealousy about Katie's new future. It doesn't help that they have yet another funeral to attend – with fake orchids no less, but that's not even the worst one they've seen.
So they resolve to get bullets of their own. But that's easier said than done. And what if it doesn't end the way they want it to? What if the place Katie's going isn't what they think it is?
With dialogue that sparks and shimmers from the very first word, Girl Shut Your Mouth is a fresh, funny, exciting piece of writing about ordinary living in an extraordinarily violent world. The idioms and vernacular of teenage girls are captured with serious wit and clarity to deliver shocking truths about survival in a flat, brutal and matter-of-fact fashion.
This piece is at once broad and precise, creating both a clear sense of place while also allowing for multiple interpretations of that place, which keeps the text alive and the action bouncing off the page. Using pop culture and theatre tropes with clever playfulness, Girl Shut Your Mouth is a relevant, contemporary text that listens closely to the urgent concerns underscoring what otherwise may appear flippant conversations, and translates these into a text that that is disturbing, sharp and provocative.
Download an extract from Girl Shut Your Mouth, scene two, in PDF format.
The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist