Arts

Award-winning play about LGBTQI+ self-discovery coming to RUMPUS

Butterfly Kicks: world premiere by award winning Adelaide playwright shines spotlight on queer self-discovery.

Actor, playwright, and disability advocate Jamila Main’s new work Butterfly Kicks is a tender, witty, adrenaline rush at RUMPUS this May.

Following three teenagers as they navigate queer self-discovery, visibility, and joy in their claustrophobic coastal town, this highly anticipated play has been well received even before its debut.

Butterfly Kicks is a story I haven’t seen on Australian stages before, particularly in Adelaide. I can’t remember the last time I saw an onstage romance between two teen girls. Queer young women, their platonic friendships, and romantic relationships given the respect they deserve is still so rare. I think it’s because of this fresh and honest depiction, the play has gathered this loyal, passionate following amongst audiences who saw our wave of local and interstate readings and awards. It’s been a finalist in the 2020 Queer Playwriting Award and winner of the 2018 Queer Short Story Award. I am thrilled to finally be premiering it at RUMPUS,” Main says.

“I am so proud of this piece, and what it represents to me and the community. Growing into my own queerness would have been so much easier if I had seen a play like this as a young person.” 

“Jamila’s writing goes straight into the heart of now,” says actor and playwright Kate Mulvany.

Directed by Mary Angley, (Grief Lightning, Adelaide Fringe 2021), Butterfly Kicks features a cast of Adelaide’s finest actors, including Lisa Fanto, Poppy Mee, Hew Parham, along with the show’s creator Jamila Main stepping into the lead role. Celebrated queer composer Dan Thorpe is behind the play’s original music, with set design by Adelaide’s renowned Meg Wilson, and lighting by the emerging, but already in demand, lighting designer Kobe Donaldson.

Playing as part of RUMPUS’ 2020 curated season, postponed to May 2021 due to a certain pandemic, Butterfly Kicks will draw audiences into the whirlpool of first love, competitive swimming, and schoolyard politics.

Winner at the 2018 Queer Short Story Award, Feast Festival and Writers SA, finalist at the 2020 Queer Playwriting Award this production has been held to high accolade by critics and welcomed at LGBTIQA+ events.

“As a queer, disabled theatremaker and advocate, I am excited for the community engagement and representation this play will have,” Main said.

“We have a Queer Community Performance on May 26 and a Relaxed Performance Matinee on May 29. Our cast and creative team are predominantly queer, and I am delighted to contribute to disabled representation and inclusion by stepping into a role I didn’t deliberately write as disabled, and I wasn’t originally cast in the show at all!”

Butterfly Kicks is playing May 18 – 30 at RUMPUS Theatre (100 Sixth St, Bowden) with tickets available at the website.

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