Baz Luhrmann’s charming rebellious-ugly-duckling allegory started life on stage as a play, then became a film.
Its transformation into a successful music theatre piece was aided by a patchwork of music, augmented and stitched together by Eddie Perfect. Baz Luhrmann’s charming rebellious-ugly-duckling allegory started life on stage as a play, then became a film.
Director Byrne, by engaging the operators of the Arthur Murray Dance Centre Adelaide as co-choreographers, ensured that ballroom dance has been taught thoroughly and, in some cases, polished to a gleam.
The work of Choreographers Tara Johnston and Thomas Coghlan is evident in the whole ensemble’s dance work.
Amassing a cast of 26, including himself, Matt Byrne has produced, directed and designed this show. His design is multi-purpose and economic, considering the limited space of the Arts Theatre.
However, if his design had been a little less literal and more referential, scene changes could have been less sluggish.Shirley Hastings, golden-boy Scott’s adoring mother, and Ballroom Association President Barry Fife, are both larger than any known life-form.As Shirley, Carolyn Adams’ performance energy is prodigious, and her dance-mum-from-hell looks wonderful.For the magnificence of the spectacle, Ann Williams (Costume Designer, Creator and Co-ordinator) and Sue Winston (Wardrobe Supervisor), please take a bow! Company choral numbers were a trial, with ragged entries, wayward harmonies, and under-powered, audibly puffed-out singers. You need to be able to do the acting, the singing and the dancing… It seems that, in comparison to the dance component, singing was sadly under-rehearsed.Those good, hard-working performers on stage simply needed more help with their singing.Its transformation into a successful music theatre piece was aided by a patchwork of music, augmented and stitched together by Eddie Perfect. We see Australians, using our language, speaking in our accents, and behaving within our cultural values. Not all music theatre is performed with an American accent.It’s good to see Strictly Ballroom being done for all these reasons.There’s ‘ballroom’ in the title, so dance is a primary element of this piece.The popularity of the film means that audience members have high expectations.Group ballroom numbers are well-staged and have a tidy finish.Costumes are, of course, a huge part of ballroom dancing, and the after-five section of Spotlight seems to have been appropriated in order to clothe the cast.