The Lighthouse Girl (4 stars)

Review by Laura Money

Nestled onto the cosy stage of the Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre WA is a simple set, consisting of a rocky outcrop and dugout containing the minimum accouterments for living – a weathered table and chairs, small desk and instruments for sending off morse code messages. It’s a simple set for a simple story, yet there is a wonderful complexity of emotion that underlies both the stage and its players.

Enter Daisy Coyle, as young Fay – The Lighthouse Girl herself. Fay brims with the optimism and clarity of youth and is set in stark contrast with the surly, set-in-his-ways Lighthouse assistant, Joe (Murray Dowsett.) Coyle’s rendition of the plucky young heroine is a little naive and slightly overstated – her wide eyes and slow, reverent speech is a tad trite – but overall, it’s hard not to fall in love with her wonderfully positive outlook.

Fay and Joe set the scene as they discuss the isolation of living on Breaksea Island. As cabin-fever sets in, Fay’s father (Benj D’Addario) announces that the world is at war and that Albany will likely be the last part of Australia that many young men will see – the ships will be leaving for lands unknown from King George Sound.

As the trio contemplate how the world will change, two young Victorian farmboys – Jim and Charlie (Will McNeill and Giuseppe Rotondella) sign themselves up for what they hope will be the ‘adventure of a lifetime!’ While moored in King George Sound, many soldiers communicate with young Fay via semaphore and morse code. Charlie and Fay strike a special relationship from across the harbour that extends across the world as he finds himself in the far-flung locales of World War I.

The Lighthouse Girl is not groundbreaking, it’s not a terribly new story but it is a beautiful, sentimental piece about identity, family and a sense of home. Coyle’s happiness as Fay is infectious and it’s hard not to empathise with this big little girl with so much energy bursting from her heart. Her desire to help others connect with each other and spread the one thing in this world everyone really wants: love, is truly inspiring.


When: 28th April – 14th May 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: Studio Underground | State Theatre Centre WA | PERTH

Tickets: $34 – $87.50

Info: Duration 100 minutes | No interval | Suitable 10+