by Helen Stanley
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Cast: 5-10f 8-12m
Performance fee: £70 per performance (plus VAT where applicable)
An action-packed play bursting with songs and imagination, celebrating curiosity, resilience and exploration.
Mary Moon is nine years old and dreams of travelling across the galaxy, just like her brave and brilliant astronaut father. But Mary hasn’t seen her dad since last week, and nobody will tell her where he is…
Follow Mary on her journey through the solar system, as she faces meteors, monsters and the Sea of Sorrow in her mission to bring her dad back home.
Space Girl was first performed at the Broadway Theatre, London, performed by Lewisham Youth Theatre. It is especially suitable for younger audiences and performers, including those under twelve years old.
Music: Space Girl includes two original songs by Helen Stanley which are performed as part of the play, plus additional incidental music by Callum Webb. The rights to perform these as part of your production are included in the performance fee quoted on this page.
You can preview one of the songs here. If you choose to licence Space Girl for performance, all other music files will be provided free of charge.
About the author
Helen Stanley trained as an actor and, after a good few years performing professionally in theatre and TIE, she found herself directing for Lewisham Youth Theatre (LYT).
She has been Artistic Director at LYT for twenty years. Over the years, it became harder to find scripts that reflected the lives of the participants, so she turned to writing plays. Helen has written around fifteen plays for ages eight to twenty-five, mainly devised and written with young people.
Helen’s work often explores the relationship between the child and parent with an adventurous twist. She works hard to give every actor a moment to shine, as well as often focusing on female-led stories. Space Girl is her first published play.
Helen is now a freelance theatre practitioner and playwright. She continues to create work with and for people of all ages.
Interview with Helen Stanley
Space Girl is about a girl trying to find her missing father, written in the form of an action-packed, adventure story through space. Why did you choose to handle the subject matter in this way?
This play is about a family that might be breaking up. I wanted to find a way to give some agency to the child in this situation. Space Girl was first a storytelling piece for schools as part of the space curriculum. The young audiences were just as enthralled by space as I had been as a child and the weird and wonderful adventure story was something they relished. So, I put the two together – difficult family situation and a wild unbelievable adventure that in the end brings child and parent together – as Dad says: ‘remember, you are not alone’.
What role do the songs play in Space Girl, and why did you choose to include them?
Not everyone wants to sing or dance but there are always a few who do, as well as some who’d like to have a go but are not ready to lead. Both of the songs can be ensemble with movement, or can be solos/duets if you have children who are confident to sing. There are a couple of tracks composed by one of our members that help with atmosphere and can be used to underscore.
The play is for an ensemble of 15 actors. How did you give distinct personality to each character?
The characters are in four groups: Mary's close friend, the other children, Mary's family and the space characters. A little like in the film of Wizard of Oz, the space characters are versions of the school children (but a bit more alien!). We used costume to show the link between the earthlings and the aliens through colour coordination. The three Marys tell the audience in the first scene what sort of Mary each of them is hopefully this helps the actors build their character.
Do you have any advice for actors performing the play, or for directors staging it?
Please make it your own. We doubled the characters, as in the cast list, as it made it much easier to rehearse in this pattern. We used pre-recorded footage of the dream sequence for the dads, again makes it easier if you are working with older actor who can’t attend all rehearsals. I wrote it with Lewisham children’s cadence and speech pattern in mind, do fix it if yours is different. The actors discussed at length whether it was all a dream or real, they concluded that although it was a dream, it was a shared dream for Mary and all her friends. It was about reaching for your dream and not giving up.