Flight of fancy

THE 1980s cult classic The NeverEnding Story is the perfect ‘MacGuffin’ for a new play about teenage dreams and friendship.

Written by Sally Davies, I Met Christine James-Scott in the Shopping Centre Carpark follows a group of teens at the fag-end of their adolescence in 1988.

They have no real sense of direction and are uncertain about their future.

Enter Christine James-Scott – beautiful, charismatic and a real-life movie star. 

Christine claims to have starred in 1984 movie The NeverEnding Story. Surely it can’t be true, can it?

“The play is an exploration of friendship, truth telling, and teenage passion,” Davies says.

“I was inspired by a girl I went to school with who would commit to larger than life lies about her achievements, and despite being obviously untrue, no-one would ever question them. This, combined with Trump-era discussions around truthfulness, inspire me to explore these themes.”

With it’s childhood escapism, fantasy and naff special effects, The NeverEnding Story is the perfect metaphor for a play about teenage angst in Perth, the most isolated, and some might say dull, capital city in the world.

Davies says she first watched it in high school as part of her English studies, so she associates the movie with adolescence and all the insecurity and bad hair that comes with it. 

“I had vague memories of the movie and when I recently rewatched it I found most of these memories were way off the mark,” she says.

“Watching it for the purpose of writing this show, I loved how chaotic the movie was, something it has in common with the play. 

“The play is set in the 1980s because I really wanted to explore the spread of information pre-social media and remove it from the current discourse around ‘fake news’.”

After graduating from Curtin in 2017 with a double degree in creative writing and performance studies, Davies formed the theatre company Lindstedt & Davies with fellow graduate Anna Lindstedt. 

They have since created four works including Ugly Virgins and Little Women, shown at The Blue Room Theatre in Northbridge.

A Stage One production, I Met Christine James-Scott in the Shopping Centre Carpark features undergraduate acting and technical students from Curtin University.

A Curtin Theatre initiative, Stage One is now in its tenth year and provides students with invaluable experience working with professional staff on off-campus productions.

“It’s been great to work with Curtin students to bring this new work to life,” Davies says. 

I Met Christine James-Scott in the Shopping Centre Carpark is at the Blue Room Theatre in Northbridge from December 8-11. Tix at blueroom.org.au

By STEPHEN POLLOCK

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