Daisy Moon Was Born This Way: Lady Gaga Meets Puberty Blues In Sydney

  • Written by 
  • Wednesday, 01 November 2017 09:35
'Daisy Moon Was Born This Way' 'Daisy Moon Was Born This Way' Image © Christina Mishell
Director Nick Atkins is excited by new theatrical works, especially ones that speak to his personal experience.

‘Daisy Moon Was Born This Way’, written by local playwright Emily Sheehan, is a new work – one surely to speak to young Australians.

“Daisy Moon is a 14-year-old girl who has a very active imagination,” Nick explains of the title character. “But the play is very much two stories. The Moon Family is in a tough spot. Daisy is a huge fangirl who is obsessed with Lady Gaga, but her brother Noah is perhaps classically masculine in that his ticket out is through sports. Both Daisy and Noah are really ambitious characters that want a lot more from the world than what they currently have and they have different ways of going about it. For him, his journey is about figuring out how can he reconnect with his home and readjust to this place he thought he was rid of. Daisy is a key person in helping him to do that.”

The play explores a lot of themes: isolation, growing-up and family. But the initial inspiration for the play was in the culture of fangirling.

DaisyMoonChristina Mishell3
Image © Christina Mishell

“Emily was curious about the phenomenon of young people becoming very obsessed with anything. In this case it was how young people had latched onto Lady Gaga’s Little Monster aesthetic. She’s started writing and I think what she’s found is an understanding of how this trend could be read as a coping mechanism, so young people that might be feeling isolated drawing in that pop culture mythology can help feel connected and strengthened in a way that might be hard in your local community.”

Nick describes the play as “'Puberty Blues' for the Gaga Generation”. The mix is a perfect description as the play relates heavily to the Australian classic, both sharing a seaside setting and the theme of growing-pains, but through a contemporary lens.

“We used that tagline because I think 'Daisy Moon' bases itself in the heart of a particular kind of classic Australian iconography; the Surf Lifesavers Club, athletic older brother swimmer is all pretty classic Australia. It’s about trying to capture or remember those visions of Australia, but then really plunge it into a world of pop culture and contemporary attitudes, the joyful and the toxic landscape young people have to deal with nowadays.”

DaisyMoonChristina Mishell2
Image © Christina Mishell

Nick and Emily have worked together as performers. ‘Daisy Moon Was Born This Way’ will be their first collaboration as Writer and Director. Nick is excited, especially since it is a story he can relate to.

“Isolation comes in many forms; it’s not always obvious,” Nick says. “I experienced similar battles in Emu Plains when I was a young person who was queer growing up out in Western Sydney and there wasn’t a whole lot of support or community. From a young age I acknowledged I need to bide my time and I think that’s a common thing for a lot of young people. But, the question is how to bide your time with what to do. That’s what I find interesting about this: Daisy Moon doesn’t just bide her time, but survives and thrives in a world where the deck is stacked against her. Daisy Moon is kind of like the hero we would have wanted to be when we were 14.”

‘Daisy Moon Was Born This Way’ plays The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, 16-25 November.


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