Tag: Kerrie Anne Greenland

Jon English’s PARIS: A ROCK ODYSSEY

A legend lives on

By Bradley Storer

Music Theatre Melbourne makes a volcanic debut with their powerhouse concert production of Jon English and David MacKay’s Paris at Melbourne Recital Centre. Assembling a phenomenal cast and combining them with the directorial talents of Neil Gooding and the musical direction of Isaac Hayward, this epic and ancient love story comes to life with incredible vivacity.

Paris.jpg

The show has been staged in a very simple style, befitting the concert format, which brings the dynamic performances and the electric, pulsating score to the forefront with no need for distracting spectacle. Gooding has cleverly used projected text and images above the stage to fill in gaps between scenes, flowing seamlessly and provided enough detail for the audience to follow without being distracting or unnecessary. Under Hayward’s baton, the orchestra bring every bar of the score to full-bloodied life.

With such a treasure trove of actors bringing every single character to life in thrilling fashion, it can be hard to pick standouts! The princely handsome Matthew Manahan as the central character Paris brings youthful exuberance and charm to the role, as well as a voice of shocking power and range. The character of Helen of Troy is given a surprisingly sympathetic and complex portrayal in Paris, which gives Madeleine Featherby the chance to range from delicately wistful and lovestruck in one scene, to fiercely intelligence and bravery in the next, showcasing maximum control over her wide vocal range. Kerrie Anne Greenland as the princess and prophetess Cassandra is so ferociously charismatic and commanding that it can be hard to take your eyes off her whenever she appears onstage, and her belting as the city of Troy burns around her is jaw-dropping. The chorus, who remain onstage for most of the evening, are first-rate and sing magnificently in all their numbers.

Truly this production can’t be praised enough – on their opening night, the entire company received an overwhelming standing ovation that couldn’t have been more well deserved. With only four performances, you’ll be sorry if you’ve missed  out on seeing this production that showcases the best of what Australian music theatre has to offer!

Paris: A Rock Odyssey played at Melbourne Recital Centre, 31 Sturt St, Southbank, from 13 – 15th July 2017.

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REVIEW: Nick Hedger’s PLAYGROUND

An eclectic collection from an exciting young composer

By Narelle Wood

Playground is a collection of songs by the very talented Nick Hedger. Whilst some of the songs, such as those from Hedger’s much talked-about one-man cabaret show Crap I Found in My Room, have obviously been worked through a number of times, this musical collection also showcased some of his newer work including songs from HomeSick and Conditions.

Playground

Playground’s ‘players’ consisted of an experienced and talented cast including Kerrie Anne Greenland, Brent Hill, Andrew Hondromatidis, Erin Kennedy, Emily Langridge, Ben Nicholson and Nick Hedger himself. Given the experience of the cast it was honestly hard sometimes to work out whether the occasional off note, which was mostly noticeable during the harmonies, was first-night nerves or a result of Hedger’s sometimes unusual, but workable, musical arrangements.

The musical numbers showcased Hedger’s ability to write everything from comedy, to ballads, to creepy tunes about the Pied Piper taking his revenge. While there were some clear themes to songs from the same musical works, without reading the explanation in the program many of the songs lacked context making it difficult to ascertain what was going on. This was especially the case where the songs made overt references to storylines and characters from particular shows, and was further compounded by the show jumping from musical to musical. That been said, the show did have an overall balance between the musical genres it presented.

The standout moments of the night were provided by those pieces that were written or performed with comedic intent: “Golden Rule”, “Playa” and “Is That What Makes a Relationship?” On the creepier side of the comedy was the performance of Hondromatidis, Nicholson and Hill as three witches back from the dead in “Back in Salem”; this was disturbingly entertaining in the only way watching three grown men menacingly sing “we’re coming for your children” can be.

It has to be said that Hedger’s ability to tickle the ivories stole the show, especially during the piano solo from “Bit of a Feelin’”. Whilst some of the ballads were a little over-sentimental, I would be very eager to see more of Hedger’s work: this is a musical mastermind in the making.

Venue:Chapel off Chapel, Prahran

Season:Saturday 1st March 8pm, Sunday 2nd March, 6.30pm

Tickets:$30 Full | $25 Concession

Bookings: chapeloffchapel.com.au/ticket-sales/