Sam Nerida’s See You Next Tuesday is an NSFW romp through the life and mind of a teenage girl, with a bit of Matilda-esque magic thrown in.
Evie is sixteen years old, sex-obsessed, an expert at sneaking out at night, and played by three actors at once. Caitlin McFeat, Tess Metcalfe, and Ramiah Alcantara talk over each other, argue, and banter, exquisitely conveying the onslaught of thoughts, emotions, and frustrations we can all remember from our teenage years. The rants where they all spoke at once required me to quickly pick one to listen to and work hard at it, meaning everyone in the audience heard the dialogue differently and understood different aspects of Evie’s experience. Part of me was disappointed not to be able to listen to all of the dialogue, especially when most of the audience laughed at a joke I had missed by focusing on a different speaker, but I enjoyed that the show made me work to participate in it. Much like talking to teenagers requires work. The result was a chaotic and fragmented view of Evie’s inner monologue, creating one of the best theatrical representations of what it’s like to be and interact with teenagers I’ve seen yet.
All three actors brought their own quirks and moods to Evie’s personality. Caitlin McFeat was the queen of ranting without breath, one long monologue of quickfire ideas and connections powering Evie’s moods forward. Tess Metcalfe brought the more whimsical side of Evie’s personality, daydreaming about possible outcomes of meeting a mysterious nineteen-year-old in the park at midnight; expertly combining innocence and experience to convey that knife-edge reality of being a teenager. Ramiah Alcantara brought the sass, the confidence, and the side-splittingly funny quips of frustrated horniness.
The Cast of See You Next Tuesday: Photography by Tim Green
On top of the chaos that is a teenage girl navigating sex, relationships, and family, Evie also has a weird super power quirk to deal with. It’s not flying like she’d prefer but a kind of x-ray vision, where things, trees, houses, even people sometimes go see-through so their inner-workings are revealed to her. You would expect giving a sex-obsessed teenager x-ray vision to come off as a cliché, and slightly icky, but in fact Evie’s mostly-uncontrollable powers lend depth to her character without giving too much of a sci-fi/fantasy bent to the plot. In a metaphor for how much she sees and takes in from her surroundings without letting on about the depth of her perception, it gives her something else to hide from her (she believes) controlling mother, and gives her an advantage over various boys she dallies with.
Most of the story is told through Evie’s narration, so the stage is light on props, set pieces, lighting, and sound. Two grass-covered levels at the rear of the stage give her a place to sit or hold her various outfit changes and a few pot-plants, but otherwise the settings are left up to our imagination and Nerida’s exquisitely descriptive dialogue. The notable exception on the lack of props is the can of sprite used at quite the *ahem* climactic moment, to great comedic effect. I’m sure I’m not the only one in the audience who will never see fizzy lemonade the same way again.
See You Next Tuesday has deservedly found its second life at Subiaco Arts Centre after its debut at the Blue Room Theatre in 2019. Evie is unapologetic, brash, clever, and unafraid to go after what she wants, even a second run. The show’s exploration of teenage sexuality doesn’t shy away from the details, and celebrates how sex can be empowering for men and women of all ages. Even Evie’s terrible decisions don’t stop us cheering her on as we cringe at memories of our own disastrous teenage behaviour.