Theatre Review: Beyond the Doors

Now in its 52nd Season, Comedy Capers Gang Show showcases the performance talents of Scouts and Guides in a blend of sketches, modern songs and a host of classics.

Presented by Comedy Capers Gang Show
Review 19 May 2017

Now in its 52nd Season, Comedy Capers Gang Show showcases the performance talents of Scouts and Guides in a blend of sketches, modern songs and a host of classics. This year’s cast of 105 – made up of members aged 9 to adulthood – bring the audience Beyond the Doors to explore a multitude of different dimensions over several different timelines. Ultimately this storyline is simply a theme that moves through a myriad of songs and scenes to delight and amuse the audience.

With a cast of greatly varied levels of experience and ability, Beyond the Doors is not always the most slick and professional show around, but that doesn’t really matter. The energy, exuberance and clear camaraderie of this cast is what drives the audience from the opening right through to the finale.

With a cast of so many it is difficult and unfair to single out members of the cast but each one should be commended for the joy they bring to their performance. The mass movement choreography was tight and Biancah Gyepes and her team should be commended for their work. Smaller dance teams work within numbers to maximise on the dancers within the cast and this makes for some very enjoyable moments. The short tap combination, the ballet section and “Spooky Scary Skeletons” are definite standouts.

Solo singing was of a generally high quality and long-term audience members will notice great improvement in some of the cast regulars. Holding Out For A Hero and Hooray for Hollywood were both sung wonderfully; but this show is full of strong voices singing some wonderful songs. A few voices were featured multiple times and it was a shame that these singing roles were not spread more evenly to allow others to have a chance to shine. David Knott’s band was tight and worked well with the performers even giving extra time for some opening night nerves.

Rebecca Knott as Production Director has kept the pace of this show snappy which is admirable considering the large amount of moving parts within it.The multitude of sets designed by Kari Lindsay and her team were excellent and worked exceptionally well with the costumes from Kylie Pannell and her extensive wardrobe department. These two elements together ensure there is never a visually dull moment!

The technical elements of this show serve it well, but there are things that will undoubtedly be smoothed out over the run. Some set changes were extensive with one, involving several crew, happening in full light behind a musical number – hopefully this was due to a missed curtain cue. Sound was generally of a high quality but some singers were difficult to hear over the band and others were far too loud within the context of the rest of the cast. In a show that features a small number of microphones over an enormous cast, however, the feat of managing them without feedback or too many glaring issues is admirable.

Comedy Capers offers the chance for many of these performers to get up on the Shedley stage and show their friends and family what they can do. Shows like this so often cater to audiences directly connected to the cast but when the cast is having this much fun it is hard not to join in! Bring along your cheering voices and clapping hands to simply enjoy yourself at this entertaining show!

Reviewed by Nathan Quadrio

Venue: Shedley Theatre, Elizabeth
Season: 19 May – 27 May
Duration: 2 hours 30 mintes
Tickets: $10 – $20


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