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Churton Park Young Actors become Top Girls

Churton Park Young Actors become Top Girls


Top Girls by Caryl Churchill
6pm Sat 28 Oct & 4pm Sun 29 Oct
Newtown Community and Cultural Centre
Tickets $15/$10 eventfinda.co.nz


Churton Park Young Actors are to produce Caryl Churchill’s most famous play Top Girls in the final week of October. The students train not only in acting but also in how to run a theatre company. They have been working on casting, costuming, rehearsing, fundraising and marketing since early March. Meeting up once a week at their local community centre, Churton Park Young Actors have been balancing school work, drama, and the ebbs and flows of teenage life, to make this show happen. The stresses of teenage life saw the show go through three cast changes as other students were unable to commit- including one just seven weeks ago. Top Girls has been too important to let anything stop them so they have recast, picked up extra roles and carried on,


Top Girls will be the first show that the company has performed on their own. They have previously performed in the last two New Zealand Fringe Festivals with their award-winning sister company, Wellington Young Actors. Together they wrote and performed Squawk in 2016 and The Wirecutters which had a season at BATS Theatre in February.


Top Girls focuses on Marlene, a 1980’s businesswoman and her promotion to Managing Director of Top Girls recruitment agency. Based in Thatcher England, Marlene is a headstrong women, fighting for status in a male-dominated, corporate world and who is struggling to get along with her working class sister, Joyce, and niece, Angie. Top Girls explores personal sacrifices women have made in their attempt to achieve equality and recognition.


The students have spent a lot of time discussing the themes of the show and women's political and social history of the 1980s. One event they were particularly intrigued by was the UK’s Equal Pay Act of 1970- this was introduced 47 years ago, the students questioned how, despite this act, equal pay not yet been achieved. Another theme of relevance to the teens has been the central character’s (Marlene’s) pregnancy at the age of seventeen (the same age of some of the company members) and the choices she had to make as well as the struggle she would have had to go through in making those choices.


Their director, actor Deborah Rea, insists that each of the students must also take on one or more production roles such as fundraising, marketing/social media, advertising, set, costume and poster design. Through these roles, they learn a various number of other skills that will assist them to not only put on their own work in the future but also enables them to be independent in a variety of business pursuits- thereby preparing them to be Top Girls themselves.

ends

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