Alcoholic buskers, pregnant waitresses, traumatised post office clerks and more…
It’s a question pondered in the latest play written and directed by Jessica Messenger, with assistance from Stages WA, premiering at the Old Mill Theatre this March.
Flesh Wounds follows the interconnecting lives and relationships of six characters as they struggle to grow up and deal with their baggage.
From alcoholic buskers, aspiring singer-songwriters, pregnant waitresses and traumatised post office clerks through to a love triangle between God, a conservative Christian and another man, the play mixes many emotional moments with live music and dry humour.
Messenger started writing Flesh Wounds in 2009 and went through multiple drafts and script development funded by playwright consortium Stages WA before she felt it was ready for an audience.
“A combination of factors inspired me to write it,” she said. “I fell in love with the characters and the concept that sometimes the only obstacle standing in our way is ourselves.
“Perth is also such a music town and I wanted to incorporate my love for live music with my passion for modern Australian theatre.
“While Flesh Wounds is not a musical, it’s full of live music and features some really talented singer-songwriters, who also just happen to be fantastic dramatic actors.”
The biggest challenge for Messenger is ensuring she captures the vulnerability of her characters without losing the excitement of the play, nor the lighter, funnier moments
“There’s plenty of the ‘wow’ factor as you go from live musical performances to huge dramatic character roles and a combination of stark naturalism and more stylised theatre,” she said.
“Flesh Wounds has some really emotional and raw moments but they’re balanced with good portion of humour – the real challenge will be hitting every note right.”
Starting as a professional actor with theatre-in-education performances in 2005, Messenger has since performed in about 30 productions with Fine Edge, Class Act, Blak Yak, Old Mill and Pocket Theatres and Arena Arts and Entertainment.
She has been nominated for best supporting actress at the annual Finley Awards, shortlisted at the Inscription National Playwriting competition and won best director, best script and best production for two different shows at Dramafest, the annual state drama festival.
“This will be my 10th time in the director’s chair but my first time directing for the Old Mill Theatre and I’m excited to be working with such a fantastic company and a terrific cast,” Messenger said.
“The Old Mill seemed like the perfect venue – it’s such a beautiful theatre and I have been involved in a number of productions staged there over the years.”
Flesh Wounds plays at 8pm, March 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23 and 24 with a 2pm matinee March 18. Tickets are $20, $15 concession – book on 9367 8719 or firstname.lastname@example.org.