It’s fair to say since the iconic Australian tween Drama The Saddle Club last graced our screens in 2009, the general public has been left yearning for more ‘Horse Girl’ content. Yearn no longer, fresh horse girl material is on its way with All the Fraudulent Horse Girls, a new production presented by Lazy Yarns as part of the Blue Room Theatre’s Summer Nights program.
The show follows 11-year-old Audrey, a horse girl, who is telepathically linked to all other horse girls in the world. Mitchell Whelan is the show’s director and co-producer, he says the show tells Audrey’s story through a 2000s, nostalgic, fun, and energetic lens before taking “a really unexpected left turn.”
“[Audrey] is violently kicked in the head by a police horse and is transported into the Mexican Desert and plays out the events of a Cormac McCarthy novel called All The Pretty Horses.”
Despite spoiling that little twist, Mitch assures us that we’re not going to be able to anticipate what happens in this play. “It’s just so fun to read and it’s even more fun to watch. I think the enthusiasm of the playwright, Mike Kennedy, really comes through.”
Talking about the show’s development process, Mitch reveals that Mike, the show’s writer, was interested in looking at horse girls as a “representation of queerness, coming of age and special interests.”
Elise Wilson, All the Fraudulent Horse Girls
For those needing clarity on the criteria of being a deemed a horse girl, Mitch describes them as, “Typically a young girl who loves horses, everything about horses. It’ll be in the media she consumes, the clothes she wears, everything she talks about. They have a sort of specific energy that’s quite intense and often there will be a ponytail that resembles a mane; whether that’s on purpose or not is unconfirmed.”
Mitch admits that he thinks the cast, which includes Elise Wilson, Courtney Henri, Lucy Wong and Hannah Davidson, were all horse girls in their childhood. “The four actors that we’ve got, when I first read the play, they immediately came to mind. This is a play they could do in their sleep. It’s like they were born to do this play.”
“Each time we go through the play the comedy just gets better and better. We’re getting a deeper understanding of who this girl (Audrey) is, how she’s going to behave and come alive.”
A show centred on horses begs the question of how will these creatures be portrayed on stage? Mitch says, “Audiences can expect to know for sure when an actor is playing a horse and if all goes to plan, I think it’ll be an image that they will have burned into their memories forever.”.
And what if you’re not a horse person, will you still be able to connect to this show? “I was not a horse girl.” says Mitch. “I was definitely a Harry Potter girl; I was obsessed with Harry Potter. I think all kids and young people have a really niche piece of pop culture that we become obsessed and infatuated with. I think if you’ve ever had that kind of relationship with something, or you’ve known a horse girl, which, to be honest, I’m sure we all have, I think you’re going to get a lot out of this play.”
“It’s really wonderful to see an 11-year-old who hasn’t quite figured out that she’s gay yet, but it’s pretty obvious, and it’s really fun to watch that kind of innocently blossom into somebody in a really uncomplicated way.”
With the promise of a banging saddle club playlist “We’re talking Nicki Webster, Metro Station, So Fresh” and “Disney Channel layering of clothes”, All the Fraudulent Horse Girls will be hitting the Blue Room stage, Jan 20-28.