What's on
Shakespearean comedy with a twist PDF Print E-mail
What's on
Written by Paula Weston   
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 18:19

Shakespeare's feast of humour and sexual politics, The Taming of the Shrew, will be reimagined in 1950s Italy when Phoenix Ensemble presents the classic comedy at Beenleigh’s Pavilion Theatre over four weekends in April and May.

Opening on Friday 24 April, The Taming of the Shrew is the hilarious romantic romp through the romantic entanglements of the Minola sisters: "shrewish" Katherina and her “sweet” younger sister Bianca.

tshrew 1As Shakespeare tells it, a surplus of suitors for Bianca prompts their father to impose the condition that Katherina must be married before Bianca – sparking a series of secret deals, assumed identifies and unconventional courtship.

Director Roslyn Johnson describes the Phoenix production as “Shakespeare with a twist”, setting the comedy in 1950s Italy.

“Audiences who love classic films like Roman Holiday will recognise the inspiration for the visual style,” she says.

"There is some re-contextualisation that respects the text but helps the audience. Our 15th Century Italian merchant becomes a 1950s Italian restaurateur with just a touch of Mafioso.

"The text, however, is paramount and we have worked hard to respect the iambic pentameter and master the art of delivering it with comic timing. But where the words become challenging, the physical comedy will help out the audience.”

Roslyn says she always loved the film version starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, but it was only after she stumbled across a version starring John Cleese that realised the story's full comedic potential.

"Anyone who likes the 'boy meets girl, girl hates boy, boy and girl fight but fall in love' kind of story will enjoy this show.”

The cast of 14 has come from far and wide, and Roslyn has been impressed with how everyone has “synced”.

(Side note: The Taming of the Shrew was the inspiration for the 1990s romantic comedy Ten Things I Hate About You starring Heath Ledger.)

Venue:     Pavilion Theatre, Beenleigh Showgrounds, James Street, Beenleigh
7.30pm:   24, 25 April, 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16 May
Tickets:    $26 adult, $24 concession and children

Katherina Minola - Rebecca Lamb
Bianca Minola - Emma Quigley
Baptista Minola - Joel Baskin
Lucentio - Jack McGirr

Petruchio - Lachlan Clark

Tranio - Blayke Sykes
Gremio - Ken Dutt

Hortensio- Richard Murphy

Grumio- Noah Sykes

Biandella - Bianca Armstrong
Vincentio - Ian Maurice
Cook/pedant/ensemble - Ryan Thomas
Tailor/widow/ensemble - Jo Mikkelson
Rosa/Ensemble - Jane Schon/Skyah Fishpool

Last Updated on Friday, 17 April 2015 18:35
2015 season opens with The Addams Family musical PDF Print E-mail

They're creepy and their kooky, mysterious and spooky...The Addams Family is coming to the Pavilion Theatre in at the Beenleigh Showgrounds from February 13, bringing all their wacky weirdness with them.

Phoenix Ensemble kicks off its 2015 season with The Addams Family musical, a fun production that's been delighting Broadway audiences since 2010.

altFor Director Morgan Garrity, it's a chance to work creatively with characters she's loved for years.

"The Addams Family has always been a favourite of mine - the TV show, the movies and the musical - so when I found out it was available, I had to jump on board."

She says the musical owes more to the 90s movies than the original TV series, particularly regarding origins and characterisations. "For example, in the original TV show, Fester was Morticia's uncle, but in the movies and the stage show he's Gomez's brother. Also, the Wednesday and Pugsley relationship is the same in the stage show as the movies, rather than the series."

Morgan says her aim has been to make the show as nostalgic as possible for the audience, keeping the original era and tone, rather than trying to update it.

"There are lots of references to all of the Addams Family incarnations, as well as brand new music and songs that - while definitely contemporary - has still got that Addams feel."

She has been particularly impressed with her 21-strong cast (which includes two young actors to play Pugsley).

"This is my third production as director and I've never experienced a cast getting along so well, and that's certainly reflected in the energy and sense of fun we're creating."

The Addams Family opens on Friday, 13 February and runs over five weekends.

The Addams Family
Pavilion Theatre, Beenleigh Showgrounds, James Street, Beenleigh
February 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28 and 6, 7, 13, 14 March 2015
$26 adult, $24 concession



Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 19:23
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