A COMING-OF-AGE TALE
Ham on Rye, The Bell Jar, The Virgin Suicides or Catcher in the Rye.
Mark Storen takes great pleasure in highlighting the pivotal moments from boyhood to adulthood in his latest work.
Departing from his usual, more adult-themed, productions, the Perth writer-performer-musician presents Benjamin & Me for the AWESOME International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things in October.
A coming-of-age musical adventure, it follows the story of a wildly imaginative boy, Will, and his furry best friend, Benjamin.
“These two characters are great mates and they experience a couple of milestones together that really challenge them and shape how they will move into the next stage of their lives,” Storen said.
The charismatic theatremaker, known for cabaret, drew from his childhood when creating Will’s world.
Inspiration came from eccentric family members, the love of his former best mate, Sasha the silky terrier, and wayward adolescent antics like infiltrating his parents’ liquor cabinet. WHAT: performed for the AWESOME International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things WHERE: The Blue Room Theatre, Northbridge WHEN: October 6-11 and 1324 TICKETS: blueroom. org.au
‘“My grandmother was a pretty interesting lady and often liked to crawl in through windows instead of using the door,” Storen said.
“Will’s family is quirky in that they support following a different path.
“His dad is an inventor-ofsorts and has a shed kitted out with all these crazy contraptions. He tells Will to go in and make whatever he wants, so Will makes the first boy-dog operated flying machine and he and Benjamin go on an adventure.”
Penning family-friendly material was a challenge for Storen, but one he plans to pursue with future projects.
Aimed at audiences aged eight and over, the strippedback production, featuring ukulele and illustrations, marks the debut for Storen’s new production company, Whiskey & Boots.