Beacon of light

• Fay Howe (Daisy Coyle) and the cast of Lighthouse Girl. Photo supplied

LIGHTHOUSE GIRL builds from a slow murmur to a tempest of blood, fury and pathos that had the audience in tears.

Based on the real life story of 15-year-old Fay Howe, a lighthouse keeper’s daughter, Dianne Wolfer’s book is set on Albany’s Breaksea Island at the outbreak of World War One.

“It speaks the universal truth of what it is to be humanly small in the face of gargantuan conflict,” Hellie Turner, who adapted the book for stage, says.

Lighthouse keeper Robert Howe (Benj D’Addario), old Joe Taylor, (Murray Dowsett), and Fay are the only residents on the small island, where supplies arrive, weather permitting, once a month.

It’s a lonely life for a young girl, played with sweet simplicity by Daisy Coyle.

She’s a whiz at semaphore and morse code, and as dozens of war ships gather off Albany, preparing to head off to war, she communicates with the soldiers, sending their last minute messages back to loved ones.

Also on board are the fictional characters Charlie (Giuseppe Rotondella) and Jim (Will McNeill), a couple of young mates who lie about their age to enlist, thinking war would be a great lark. Directed by Stuart Halusz Lighthouse Girl is on at the State Theatre until May 14.

by JENNY D’ANGER

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