KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) -- This week, Halifax has the opportunity to see a very special play staged in a green lot behind the Bus Stop Theatre.
Girls! Girls! Girls! is a poetic, action-packed teenage tragedy which was first staged at the Montreal Fringe Festival. The play was written by Greg MacArthur in the wake of the Columbine school shootings, and was loosely based on the bullying and murder of 14-year-old teenager Reena Virk in Vancouver.
It features powerful performances by local actors: Maggie Hammel plays Splitz, a popular girl who sees red when she tumbles from first to fourth-place finish at a high school gymnastics competition. She must get that red ribbon, and she must get it at any cost. She compels her rag-tag gang of friends to exact revenge on the sweet but naive first-place winner, Missy “the Titless Bitch” (Erin Johnston).
Puss (Gillian Clark), Jam (Keelin Jack), and Little Bucky the Fag (Henri Gielis) carry out her violent bidding as a boisterous and booze-fueled “walkman gang.” Audience members are each given a pair of headphones to immerse themselves in the dance-pop soundtrack.
One fan on Facebook described the play as “Clockwork Orange meets Mean Girls.”
“Ah, green’s not so bad. Jam likes green. Green’s a colour Jam can appreciate. Green’s got a real beauty to it,” quips Jam from a thicket in the theatre garden, the pale voice of reason in a gang obsessed with obtaining first place at any bloody cost. She is the only one who feels remorse when she realizes her friends have beaten young Missy to death.
The play is presented by Halifax-based Angels & Heroes Theatre company and director Richie Wilcox.
They couldn't have done it anyplace else, Wilcox says.
“Violence in Halifax is a very topical issue, and I had a cast that really wanted to do a show together,” says Wilcox. The cast rehearsed for two weeks in the grassy lot behind the indie theatre, taking advantage of its twisting fire escape, gold Koi pond, and street access.
The play runs through Sunday; audience members are asked to meet in front of the Bus Stop Theatre on Gottingen Street at 7:30pm. $20 or $15-17 for students. Advance tickets can be purchased at Venus Envy.