PERTH theatre company The Last Great Hunt has never shied away from tackling the big issues and latest play The Talk is no exception.
The season at Subiaco Arts Centre from April 11 to 21 looks at the way adults talk to teens about sex.
Writer and director Gita Bezard, who spends her time working between Perth and Melbourne, said the comedy was a result of the theatre company examining emerging sexuality in females.
“Through a series of circumstances I ended up taking lead of the show,” Bezard said.
“I became really interested in the way we talk to teenagers about sex, particularly teenage girls, and the way it’s portrayed in the media and pop culture; having been a teenage girl myself, not super recently, but not that long ago.
“And also looking at what has changed, particularly with the internet, from even when I was a teenager. There is so much more access for teenagers to information and to pornography which 20 years ago people didn’t have, but I don’t think we’ve really changed the way we speak about those things. I think we need to change the conversation to keep up with the information.”
Bezard said The Talk focused on 15-year-old Eva, who was not only “discovering sex but also discovering her frustrations around the way people talk about it”.
“Her school just wants to talk about condoms but the kids want to talk about hardcore porn, so there’s dichotomies in the conversations being had,” she said.
“It’s her exploration and journey through a series of different conversations.”
The production is presented by an all-female cast – Cassidy Dunn, Megan Hunter and Christina Odam – and is set to a pop soundtrack that is on topic.
“I was interested in pop music that is quite explicit and very well-known; how it’s accepted that you’ll be somewhere like the supermarket and listening to lyrics that are quite graphic, thinking that’s fine,” Bezard said.
“We’re exploring the idea of being surrounded by sex and sexual language in the world and what that does to us.
“We have fun with the show, but we also examine the serious issue of how we talk about sex to teenage girls compared to boys,” Bezard said.
“Why are we busy telling girls not to wear short skirts but not telling boys that no means no? What messages about sex are really being given?”
The Talk is recommended for ages 14 years and older and Bezard said she hoped adult audience members might think about their willingness to have that conversation and why they might feel awkward about talking to teenagers about this topic.
“I don’t know how many teenagers we’ll have come to see it, you can never predict that kind of thing, but I hope they might see some of their own fears reflected on stage and also see someone dealing with them,” she said.
“It might help them through a difficult idea or time.”
What: The Talk
Where: Subiaco Arts Centre
When: April 11 to 21