Sydney University’s Manning Theatre was a very clever choice for Schapelle, Schapelle – The Musical. A place for educated, learned people, looking down on those without the same opportunities becomes the theme of this very black comedy. In this case, however, the educated ones are the journalists falling all over themselves to get the scoop of the year when the idea of, ‘Small Town Girl Get’s Caught Smuggling Drugs In Her Boogie Board In Bali,’ is pitched to the editor and chief, played by Mitch Lourigan with suave non-chalance. His first question is, “is she a looker?” When it is ascertained that she is indeed a looker, there is, immediately, potential for sensational copy.
The line between musicians and cast is defined by a wall of gold XXXX Cans and the marijuana leaf chair of the editor and chief is truly inspired, as is the casting of Kelsie Boyden as Schapelle, who brings a special brand of blank incredulity to Corby. Jack Dodds and Alice Litchfield devour their roles as the hungry journalists manipulating their prey whilst Ruby Teys and Emily Klimpton play sister Mercedes and mother Rosaleigh to perfection wth comic timing and just the right degree of disfunctional family loyalty.
Altogether this show is a smash hit from beginning to end and at no time does it try to make a statement on the innocence or guilt of Schapelle Corby. What it does do is is make the audience squirm when confronted with the vehemence of the Aussie media. The script is witty, sharp and topical. A hilarious romp through an infamous slice of Aussie tabloid. The choreography is creative, distinctive and at times irreverent and the songs define both characters and story with tongue and cheek lyrics. The small prosceniim stage though was not really large enough to contain the huge energy radiating from the brilliant, multi talented cast who sing, dance and act up a media sorm to be reckoned with.
Apr 22-May 16. Manning House, The University of Sydney, Manning Rd, Camperdown. $30.60-$50-49+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.sydneycomedyfest.com.au
By Renee Lou Dallow.