For the first time, the popular Perth troupe are presenting an established piece instead of their usual self-devised offerings (think Point and Shoot; Felicity Rickshaw’s Celebrity Sex Party to name a couple). There are familiar elements audiences will recognise – multiple characters, small cast, fast pace, outstanding singing and…….a big dollop of delightful crazy to round it all off! This company do it all so, so, well.
The evening revolves around Bud and Doug, two theatre “writers”, whose dream is to produce a musical celebrating the life of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press. They present their interpretation to an audience where they hope Broadway producers will back a Broadway run. With lack of historical information, what’s offered is 80 minutes of hilarious ‘historical fiction’ or ‘fiction that is true’!
Tyler Jacob Jones and Andrew Baker present us with 30-ish characters representing the German town-folk of Schlimer. Using nothing but blue baseball caps with character names written on the front, each character is cleverly brought to life showcasing the talents of these two fine performers.
Hats off (no pun intended!) to director Erin Hutchinson. It would be tempting for any performer to slip from clever comedy to absurdity but Hutchinson keeps everything tight, focussed and clear. A true directional talent indeed.
Musical Director Joshua James Webb’s outstanding keyboard skills are again a highlight. The actors character interpretations are also a credit to Webb, with each outstanding song, although sometimes outrageous in its content, making a whole lot of sense in the context of this hilarious show. It was also nice to see an MD having a great time and laughing along with the audience.
Production values are simple, but they have to be due to the premise of presenting in a hall. I particularly liked the homemade ‘Gutenberg! – The Musical’ signage – individual letters printed on A4 sheets of paper and stuck to the back wall. Lighting again simple but adequate, giving you the ‘fluoro’ feel of a community hall.
I could go on more about this show, but it would spoil the many surprises along the way. But, this production has a whole lot of everything. It is fun, silly and LOL all packaged up into a smooth, fast paced and clever show. Congratulations to all involved for a wonderful nights entertainment.
Venue: The Hellenic Club of WA, 75 Stirling St Northbridge
Dates: Thursday 3, Friday 4 and Saturday 5 November @ 8pm
Tickets: $25 / $30 at www.hollandstproductions.com
Photo credits: John Marshal