I’m Fine: Murraylands talents stage a musical with a message

Katherine Wicker, Jarrod Matulick, Anika Bartholomeusz and local cast members have an original show coming up at Adelaide's Holden Street Theatres.

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Amelia Rooney and Jake Fielke will star in I’m Fine, an original musical by three writers from the Murraylands. Photos: Katherine Wicker.

A little gesture can make a big difference – that’s the message in a new musical by three Murraylands performers.

Jarrod Matulick has written music, and Katherine Wicker and Anika Bartholomeusz the script, for an original show which will debut at Adelaide’s Holden Street Theatres next weekend.

I’m Fine tells the story of two teenagers and their struggles with mental health.

There’s a twist, though: the story is told twice, as Ms Wicker explained.

“The first time we focus on April, the female lead,” she said.

“She doesn’t reach out when she needs help, her friends don’t push it when she says she’s fine, and by the end of the first act she’s not in a good place.

“The second time we tell it with (male lead) David, who has the same symptoms, but this time his friends push it – ‘you say you’re fine, we know you’re not, what’s going on?’ - and that makes a huge difference.”

All three of the show’s creators had faced mental health challenges at different times, she said, and knew people who had died by suicide.

As musicians, actors and writers, they turned to the creative process as a way of raising awareness that no matter how dark things may seem, there are always things each of us can do.

When casting the show, they called upon a few more faces familiar to Murraylands audiences, including Hannah Smith and Julie Vogt.

The cast of nine has been reheasing via Zoom during South Australia’s lockdown.

At this stage the theatre will be restricted to 25 per cent capacity for a run of four performances, starting next Thursday, August 5.

But Ms Wicker promised those who came along would see a show that was fun and entertaining as well as thought-provoking: “while it has a serious message ... it’s not just a downer”.

Disclosure: Ms Wicker is a personal friend of the author.

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