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Funny, sad, humiliating stories told in new play

Funny, sad and downright humiliating stories told in new play

Stories Told to Me by Girls is a collection of true stories tweaked for theatre by playwright Julie Hill.

"Girls spend a lot of time filling up the air with talk. Consequently we are among the best in the world at storytelling. We talk about our emotions. We solve the world's problems. We like to hone and shape a story to suit the occasion," says Hill.

The stories in the play range from a conversation in a bar and the two different interpretations of it, one girl's brush with the world of prostitution, some skydiving, a bit of John Farnham and a girl called Dusty who builds a city of sand in a carpark.

Says Hill, "A lot of girls I know are very funny and top dollar story tellers, but have this strange predilection for stories about shame and humiliation... it's at once masochistic and charming.

Most people have a kind of greatest hits list of stories that they tell and retell, and it's interesting how truth becomes kind of incidental; kind of a victim to the story's entertainment value.

So basically I've just ripped off a whole bunch of stories that girls have told me, changed a few names around, which as a filthy hack I have no moral qualms about. New Zealand's a big place though so I'm pretty sure nothing will get back to anyone."

At a preview performance in 2005 reviewer Lynn Freeman said of the play, "It was a great pleasure to see Jo Smith's return to the stage in Stories Told to Me by Girls. She grabbed the material in Julie Hill's script to create a wealth of unforgettable women, their stories ranging across experiences and emotions. Director Stephen Bain kept Smith on the move as she spoke directly to the audience, demanding their attention and respect for the women she portrayed."

Stories Told to Me by Girls will be performed by Jo Smith, is directed and designed by Stephen Bain and has music composed and performed by Peter Daube. It will be performed at Christchurch's Court Two theatre from February 3 - 18 and Luxembourg Gardens in Auckland from April 5 - 22.


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