Secret Girl Stuff @ Flight Path Theatre

Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (reviewed Saturday 17 February)

This is the sex education I wish I had. That boys could be so duplicitously charming and persuasive in the pursuit of sex. That it hurts the first time, a lot. That periods are completely normal but extreme menstrual pain is not. That everything female is regarded as inferior, subject to ridicule, secrecy, containment, control, exploitation, misdiagnosis, misinformation, submissiveness, dismissiveness and a bit of good ol’ fashioned misogyny. I wish I had been given the tools as a teenager to deal with it all, to reject these feelings of inferiority that I had been taught to internalise and accept as part of my identity as being female.

Mikaela Corrigan’s groundbreaking Secret Girl Stuff navigates the crevices of the female experience between teenage years and womanhood. There’s a lot of unpacking to do, scrolling through years and years of collective pent up resentment and rage. This show isn’t filled with poetic cat-calling (Shakespeare is so last century) but an honest exposition of becoming a woman, and what we see is beautifully messy, flawed and vulnerable. The carefully crafted monologues cover themes of new motherhood, post-natal depression, lost virginity, queer crushing, fan-girl hysteria, mother-daughter relationships, endometriosis and much more, each having specificity and conviction, as if the actors are sharing their own personal experience beyond the skill of acting. Diverging from the monologues is a scene of an argument between an unhappy couple and a mock-game show called Who has the answers? hosted by Mr Mansplainer, the one who always interrupts.

During our podcast with Cats In The Cupboard Productions of which Corrigan is co-founder, the cast and crew shared their perspective on how important it is for female-centric stories to be told by female identifying actors and directors. “Working with female directors cuts out a lot of the unnecessary blocking a lot of male directors will do” shares cast member Madison Hough, citing an example of working with a male director that insisted her character wear heels while getting out of bed. “It took a few other people to talk to him to get him to change his mind.”

The other cast members agreed that collaboration and knowing the tacit emotional language of women is key to creating authenticity and truth in delivering stories about the female experience. “There is a stronger level of empathy from female directors directing all-women shows,” Sophie Persson concurred, who plays a range of complex characters in the show, along with fellow cast members Izzy Azzopardi, Ella Earle, Lycia Gunawan, Madison Hough, Nicholas Pavan and Angel Samu.

The show’s environment warmly created by Georgie Moore (Stage Manager) and Paris Bell (Lighting Designer) is a teenager’s bedroom decorated with fairy lights and pop culture paraphernalia, intimating the sweetness of youthful innocence before it is all crudely snatched away; the line ‘my first time was taken from me’ resonates the most. Also memorable is the line that a tiny innocent baby can be a traumatic reminder of maternal inadequacy, a ‘physical manifestation of getting it wrong’ when the mother is unwell. As quoted in the show, “some women are not meant to be mothers, and others are not meant to be daughters” (Gillian Flynn, author of Sharp Objects and Gone Girl). Supposing both statements to be true, where do we stand on our right to a full and meaningful existence? Beyond ‘cleaning up on Christmas day’ while the men sit around and chit-chat? As I remember discussing with a friend of mine about the disappointment of being childless and barren, “being a mother, or a woman, is so much more than what comes out of your vagina. Your desire and ability to nurture, create and give life is expressed in so many different ways.”

There’s a lot to unpack in this show, and it could definitely be packaged for students to empower them with awareness beyond the shallow (and often harmful) advice rampaging on social media. This show left me with a yearning to be a teenager again endowed with knowledge and wisdom about womanhood, without needing to go through years of rebellion and trauma.

Secret Girl Stuff is produced by Cats in the Cupboard Productions as part of Flight Path Theatre’s 2024 season. For tickets and showtimes, go to

2 thoughts on “Secret Girl Stuff @ Flight Path Theatre

  1. A truly amazing show written and directed by a beautiful and talented young woman, acted out by a group of equally beautiful and talented young women …. And of course the one token and talented male ……

    This show needs to continue to grow and expand and hopefully be seen by more women and men!!

    Well done Mikaela!! Well done ladies and one male 😉🌹❤️🌹

    1. Thank you Karen for sharing your thoughts, we wholeheartedly agree that this is a very commendable show with outstanding direction and performances by the female +1 male cast.

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