Life doesn’t come easy for young Greta Driscoll. Painfully shy, she has failed to make friends at her new school (unless you count the eternally optimistic fellow loner Elliott) and now, as her 15th birthday approaches, she is torn between holding onto her childhood and embracing impending adulthood.
When her well-meaning parents throw her a surprise party, poor Greta is thrust into the spotlight – but her panic turns to curiosity when she meets a mysterious stranger who transports her to a parallel world.
It is here, among the wild and wacky creatures of this strange place, that she will discover exactly what she is capable of.
Directed by Rosemary Myers, artistic director of Adelaide-based Windmill Theatre, Girl Asleep was first performed by Windmill during the 2014 Adelaide Festival season and has been adapted for the screen by writer Matthew Whittet.
Whittet also stars in the film – he is both hilarious and disturbingly creepy as Greta’s endearing father Conrad and the spooky creature stalking Greta.
Bethany Whitmore delivers a convincingly awkward performance as the young girl teetering on the edge of womanhood, and her journey of self-discovery is one many teens and pre-teens will relate to.
Harrison Feldman is entertaining as Elliott, Greta’s only friend and confidante, while Imogen Archer plays rebellious older sister Genevieve and Maiah Stewardson completes the cast as Jade, the stereotypical queen bee determined to make Greta’s life miserable.
Set in the time of flared jeans and record players, Girl Asleep takes audiences on a psychedelic journey into a world where anything can and will happen.
It features a combination of both clever and bizarre effects, a menagerie of weird and wonderful creatures, and random dance routines which add to the confusion and hilarity of the film.
Girl Asleep is an imaginative coming-of-age story with a positive message about embracing who you are, but it may be too quirky for some tastes.
Girl Asleep screens again on Sunday, October 25, at Palace Nova Eastend Cinema as part of the Adelaide Film Festival.
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