|Venue||Melbourne metropolitan secondary school|
WE REPEAT OURSELVES was conceived by Michele Spooner and developed through research and creative development with playwright, Gilly Farrelly (now Gilly McInnes) and with Handspan ensemble artists in 1988.
Described as a frank look at the ins and outs of sex2, the play introduced secondary school audiences to personal development issues around sexual behaviour, particularly conception, contraception and sexually transmitted disease (STDs).The theme explored the nature of adolescent relationships, decision-making and responsibility within them. It toured with programs of Teachers' Notes prepared by Handspan with Family Planning Victoria, and performances were often followed by Q & A and workshop discussions with students.
The use of visual images and puppets enabled the performers to explore these sensitive and often confronting issues in an engaging and witty theatrical drama that imparted useful information and WE REPEAT OURSELVES involved comic and outrageous characters in a simple, raunchy and very funny plot that illustrated its message.
Puppet characters, Sandy, Randy and Cleverdick appeared with multiple cartoon-esque objects animated in black theatre.
WE REPEAT OURSELVES provoked occasional public debate on the issues it was addressing with students but it was well received and well defended by its audiences.
Teachers were effusive, describing the work as 'a courageous production which all adolescents need to see'4;'a great theatrical experience as well as a fantastic, relevant educational experience'5 and claiming that 'students were spellbound'6, 'engrossed by it all'7.
Publicly it was reviewed in Australia's Youth Theatre Journal, Lowdown with enthusiasm:
In Victoria, Maria Brownell, a registered nurse from the Melbourne suburb of Camberwell, wrote a 'Letter to the Editor' of The Age:
Touring schools in South Australia for the 1990 Adelaide Fringe Festival Education Program, press publicity for the production in The Advertiser, Adelaide, caused another 'Letter to the Editor' from Tess O'Callaghan a teacher from suburban Paradise:
The story was followed in the Adelaide News where Trina Parker, Handspan's then Co-Artistic Director was questioned about schools' willingness to book the play:
WE REPEAT OURSELVES was endorsed by the Family Planning Association of Victoria and the Victorian Aids Council. From the former, Handspan Theatre received a timber plaque:
- Song lyrics: Gilly Farrelly
- Handspan Theatre Promotional copy, 1989
- MLC: Methodist Ladies College, Adelaide, South Australia
- Wheelers Hill, Melbourne metropolitan School feedback, 1989
- Toorak College, Melbourne metropolitan School feedback, 1989
- Yea High, Victorian regional School feedback, 1989
- Alexandra High, Victorian regional School feedback, 1989
Scroll back to Click Tab: The People & The Performances
|Original concept||Michele Spooner|
|Director||Avril McQueen with Gilly Farrelly|
|Set designer||Trina Parker|
|Puppet designer||Michele Spooner|
|Researched by||Lizz Talbot, Gilly Farrelly, Michele Spooner|
|Creative development||Rod Primrose, Peter J.Wilson, Michele Spooner (1988)|
|Cleverdick puppeteer||Rod Primrose (1989 & 1990); John Rogers (1989); Andrew Hansen (1990); Paulo Bongiovanni (1990);|
|Randy puppeteer||Maeve Vella (1989 & 1990); Ruth Bauer (1989 & 1990)|
|Sandy puppeteer||Annie Wylie (1989/90)|
|Recorded voiceovers||Kerry O’Brien, Jenny Oldershore, Chris Palstra, Greg Palstra, Rod Primrose, John Rogers, Maeve Vella, Annie Wylie|
|Soundtrack recording||Lorraine Milne, Dave Carter, Ross Inglis|
|Production manager||Philip Lethlean|
|Tour/stage manager||Andrew Hansen (1989); Paul Newcombe (1989 & 1990); Paul Judd (1990)|
|Director’s assistant||Ruth Bauer|
|Puppet makers||Paul Newcombe, Rod Primrose, Michele Spooner|
|Assistant puppet makers||Belinda Bold, Janet Long, Mary Sutherland|
Scroll back to Click Tabs: The Production & The Performances
|Term 3 & 4||Melbourne metropolitan schools|
|22 February – 2 March||Westpac Theatre, Living Arts Centre, Adelaide Fringe Festival Youth Education Program, Adelaide. SA|
|5 - 16 March||Adelaide metropolitan and South Australian regional schools touring: Willunga, Nuriootpa, Waikerie, Yorketown, Coober Pedy, Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Loxton, Renmark, Murray Bridge, Lameroo, Bordertown and Mt Gambier.|
|April||Victoria regional schools: Portland, Warrnambool, Camperdown, Cobden, Colac|
|May- June||Melbourne metropolitan schools|
|Aug-Oct||Victorian regional schools: Wangaratta, Sale, La Trobe Valley, the Mallee, Gippsland, Riverina and Mallacoota|
|7 September||TAFE Auditorium, Wangaratta|
Scroll back to Click Tabs: The Production & The People
For Young People: