When things are tough, and they usually are in her line of work, foreign correspondent Suzie Broughton (the wonderful Sheridan Harbridge) clings to two rules: honour the dead; don’t make things worse. But there’s a third rule, less frequently cited in Stop Girl , that’s absolutely central to what happens to Suzie. “Never, ever connect,” she says. “Keep a distance.”
Sheridan Harbridge in Belvoir’s Stop Girl. Photo © Brett Boardman
There’s a reminder there of the famous epigram in Howard’s End, “Only connect!”, although E.M. Forster meant something more than just acknowledging other people. Integration was needed. “Live in fragments no longer,” he wrote.
Suzie (for whom read Sally Sara), has seen people literally dying in fragments during many of her foreign postings and is living in fragments. She is disintegrating, a state brought to crisis point by coming home to safe, unexciting Australia. She has experienced life in high definition and now she is surrounded by low-res meaninglessness and Potts Point trendies, or at least that’s how it seems.