Musical Theatre / “Faculty of Rock”, directed by Marty King. At Gungahlin Theatre till October 22. Reviewed by BILL STEPHENS.
IN presenting the primary Canberra performances of the Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical, “Faculty of Rock”, Dramatic Productions uncovered sufficient gifted younger actor/musicians throughout auditions to have the ability to mount two casts of principals for the present, resulting in a choice to area two casts, labelled “Small” and “Tall”, who carry out the present on alternate nights.
The season opened with the “Small” solid, which refers to bodily stature reasonably than age or expertise.
“Faculty of Rock” is predicated on the 2003 film of the identical title, and revolves across the character of Dewey, an out-of-work, would-be rock singer and guitarist, who spends his time fantasising himself as a rock-god. At this efficiency Dewey was performed with unrestrained gusto and irresistible enthusiasm by Zach Raffan. Dewey has been couch-surfing within the residence of his greatest buddy, Ned, a lot to the chagrin of Ned’s girlfriend, Patti, who desires Dewey out.
In an effort to boost his back-rent, Dewey passes himself off in its place trainer in a prestigious faculty. After figuring out musical expertise in his college students, Dewey kinds a band of fifth-graders within the hope of successful the forthcoming Battle of the Bands contest.
The present is carried out on a horny, versatile setting geared up with plenty of surprising pull-outs and pull-downs effectively operated by the big solid to characterize quite a lot of locales, with the sound cranked-up to rock-concert degree – properly, it’s a rock musical in spite of everything.
Pleasant performances abound among the many adults within the solid led by Taylor Paliaga because the imposing headmistress, Rosalie Mullins who finally melts underneath Dewey’s attraction offensive, although not earlier than unexpectedly dashing off a number of bars of Mozart’s “Queen of the Evening” aria, thereby confirming the oft-repeated hearsay that Lloyd-Webber usually seeks inspiration for his songs from classical sources.
Equally spectacular are Courtney Hayden as Ned’s over-bearing girlfriend, Patti, Bradley McDowell as Dewey’s greatest buddy Ned, and Giuliana Baggoley because the stitched-up Mrs Sheinkope.
However inevitably it’s the younger members of the solid who steal the present with their assured appearing and sensible musicianship. Excellent amongst them, 11-year-old Zayn O’Shaughnessy as Zack amazes along with his prodigious mastery of the rock-guitar. Anneke Hollier-Smith on keyboards, Zoe Fox on bass guitar and Sujaan Biddle on percussion all present show-stopping moments.
Hester McDonald because the shy Tomika, captivates together with her lovely voice doing justice to the most effective music within the present, “If Solely You’ll Pay attention”, as did Lincoln Newell asserting himself because the budding designer, Billy; Edith Baggoley because the ever-efficient know-all, Summer time; and Jacqueline Tatam, fairly cute as Sophie.
Dramatic Productions are on a winner with this excellently produced and carried out musical. If the “Tall” solid, led by Max Gambale as Dewey, is anyplace close to as charming because the “Small” solid, and there’s no purpose to doubt that they’re, then audiences will discover it exhausting to withstand the temptation to see each casts to decide on their very own favourites.
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Ian Meikle, editor