Overlook all of your troubles, neglect all of your cares…

Rehearsing for the mod musical “Downtown”, from left, standing – Kirsten Smith, Jess Zdanowicz, Hannah Miller, Anna Tully and Tina Meir. Sitting – Alexandra McLaughlin, Kay Liddiard, Carly Carter, Hannah Lance and Sarah Hull. Photograph: Alison Newhouse

YOU’D should be a killjoy to not recognize what Queanbeyan Gamers are as much as with their manufacturing of “Downtown: The Mod Musical”, coming to Belconnen Group Theatre.

As with “Keating the Musical” final yr, it’s one of many Gamers’ ventures into smaller-scaled venues and is, director Anita Davenport tells me, extra a “revuesical” than a musical.

It’s an all-girl present, I discover once I flip up for rehearsal and it does even have a plot.

On stage are 5 ladies solely identified by colors – the yellow lady, inexperienced lady, purple lady, blue and orange, variously representing 5 particular person experiences.

The present follows the views of the 5 ladies – the one who married younger, a very good time lady, a naive lady who’s rising up quick, a dolly lady, and an American who’s come over to England as a result of she’s obsessive about the Beatles. 

All of them pour their hearts out of their letters to the teenager journal, “Shout”, but it surely quickly turns into apparent that the journal’s gossip columnist Gwendoline is more and more out of contact with the modern problems with the time – divorce, the appearance of the Tablet and the revolutionary strides made by girls within the swinging ’60s.

The main focus is on the well-known UK singers of the period and the singalong numbers will embrace Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger”, Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man” and “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”, Lulu’s “To Sir With Love” and the title music, Petula Clark’s “Downtown”, which conjures up not a lot New York’s downtown as Britain’s Carnaby Avenue.

See also  The way in which we have been and the best way we're

However the “revuesical” is known as “Shout” abroad, the place individuals are ignorant that such is the title of a much-loved, bio-musical about Johnny O’Keefe. Within the UK and US, it was Lulu who coated that music.

Davenport is a seasoned director greatest identified for having directed “Barnum” for Canberra Philharmonic, however right here has the benefit of getting listened to her father Ian Davenport’s ’60s favourites within the household automobile whereas rising up.

“I heard that music in dad’s automobile in the course of the ’90s, and if you consider it, the ’60s had been solely 30 years earlier than that,” she says, explaining why she thinks the songs will resonate throughout the age teams. Her favorite is Cilla Black’s “You’re My World”.

“Within the ’60s, you had to purchase vinyl and the songs needed to hook you in and have good tales,” she says.

“It was so frequent for individuals to affiliate a music with their past love or driving for the primary time.”

The present received’t be an historic reconstruction, and though designer Helen McIntyre has been working with classic patterns, her costumes can be “a beautiful bit of caprice, brilliant, quick and many enjoyable”.

It will likely be a lot the identical with choreography by Laurenzy Chapman who, Davenport says, “has given a nod to the ’60s with out being a slave to historic accuracy within the dance strikes”.

There’ll be a band on stage, directed by Tara Davidson, who like Davenport, believes the songs must be sung with a band simply as they had been written, not with an orchestra.

See also  Goulburn theatre chief steps down after 30 years

“Music transports us via house and time,” Davenport says. “I don’t really feel you need to have grown up within the ’60s to really feel that connection.”

“Downtown: The Mod Musical”, Queanbeyan Gamers, Belconnen Group Theatre till March 4.

The publish Overlook all of your troubles, neglect all of your cares… appeared first on Canberra CityNews.