Hits Title 2024Laughter Through The Tears Productions. The Space. 3 Jul 2024


Rebecca Meston’s Hits is her Adelaide music industry/culture love letter in a long line of such, across many a decade and form, from film to novel.


Rhiannon (Ren Williams) finds herself with just Mum after Dad, Rod (Eddie Morrison) hits the tour road with his band. Forever. At least she has her beat box, headphones, and love of sappy mainstream 80s tunes to comfort her. It ‘ain’t enough really.


Until the day she leaps off the bus chasing a guy, ending up in a record store owned by a totally cool chick called Suzie (Annabel Matheson) and a world beyond her folks’ sappy tunes, school uniform, bland clothes and uppity peers opens up to her.


Lifeblood of being young; getting into music, finding your therapeutic aural fix when life sucks boosting you again for another day, another battle with the world.


Meston as Director mashes comedic caricatures laced with rather pointed observation of cultural mores of the day, in a sweet and sour nostalgia binge that nonetheless is also a fight between two cultures - mainstream and alternative.


In the midst of this, Rhiannon’s making choices, fending off negative influences within both mainstream and alternative culture. Williams’ superbly balances nostalgic elements of the production with the more caustic, serious undertones of Meston’s writing, as does the entire cast.


Suzie runs her record shop and her customers, her way. Choice of music is imposed on buyers to grow their knowledge, not feed infantile feelings. Quintessential 80s-90s mainstream radio jock DJ Barry (Eddie Morrison) rules the airwaves and listeners in a similar fashion (shocking into life memories of how really, really, really, bad mainstream radio was in the day).


Mother, Linda (Emma Beech) is an 80s magazine style queen who nonetheless is still living in the 70s. Rhiannon’s school peers, Meels, Footsy (Emma Beech) and Bee (Annabel Matheson) are as vacuously 90s bitchy and pretentious as the Vogue magazine they primp over.


It’s a smooth, fluid moving production across a stage set up for a band, utilising put on, pull off chairs, decks and tables.


A mosh pit crew consisting of first year Flinders University Drama Centre students, choreographed by Erin Fowler, add head banging passion and zest to the sophisticated score by Jason Sweeney, deftly hinting at music history of the day’s clashes.


Hits is not a pop show. Certainly not rock and roll high school. It’s a clever look at the way things were and still are today. Same issues, different tunes, different mediums.


David O’Brien


When: 3 to 6 Jul

Where: The Space

Bookings: ticketek.com.au