Presented by Piano Room Productions
Reviewed 12 March 2020
The Schapelle’s story has fascinated many people, particularly reporters, for quite a while. The truth is elusive, but the pivotal actual events are all included with a lot of silliness, absurdity and a rollicking musical score. The story of Corby’s conviction, incarceration and release is fictionalised and along with the real life caricatures of the Corbys (Schapelle, Mercedes, brother Mike, Mum and Dad), there is also the other infamous Bali prisoner Renae Lawrence and lots of reporters.
This is a truly collaborative production with the writers also involved in performance. The book was written by Mitch Lourigan, Gareth Thomson, Jack Dodds and Abby Gallaway, with music by Jack Dodds, Gabbi Bolt and Tim Hansen, whist Gareth Thompson also helped out on the lyrics. Abby Gallaway was also director and choreographer (with others – Kelsi Boyden was an assistant choreographer)
Boyden also starred as Schapelle and has a good singing voice as well as being a convincing naïve Queenslander. As her sister, Mercedes, Ruby Teys Raymond is every bit as annoying as the real thing, a great job. Emily Kimpton not only played the mother but was a very good Renae Lawrence and showed up again as Julia Gillard! Alice Litchfield was hilarious as Dimity, an upcoming reporter (also doing a fine job as Lindy Chamberlain) and Jordan Gallaway was trying to be the best as new reporter Simon whilst also playing brother Mick. All the cast are on the ball including Jack Dodds as Rosleigh, Mitch Lourigan and Mark Thompson.
There was some difficulty hearing all the lyrics in the first half, but this improved in the second allowing us to enjoy the wit and silliness. The band was just right for the type of show, reminiscent of the style of music of shows like Little Shop of Horrors. There was some imaginative choreography and a lot of enthusiasm.
It’s got a very short season so hurry or you’ll miss out!
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Rating out of 5: 4.5
Venue: Parks Theatre Two
Season: 12-14 March
Duration: 120 mins