Presented by Promise Adelaide
Reviewed 4 December 2016
At 17 years of age, Ben Francis is a phenomenom! He has not only performed both in the amateur and professional arenas, musically directed and directed, been recently awarded the “Minister of Education and Child Development” Award, and nominated by Newscorp for a “Pride Of Australia” medal, but founded and runs his own fund-raising organisation, Promise Adelaide, which allows young Adelaide performers to combine their love for the arts with charitable initiatives in their local communities. All profits from the shows produced go to selected charities.
This year, Promise Adelaide’s show was #SHe, a celebration of women through song and dance . The charity selected was White Ribbon, an initiative aimed at bringing awareness to society of the dreadful and shameful tragedy that is Domestic Violence (to women in particular).
Presenting the subject matter sensitively and compassionately were a cast of 16 extremely talented youngsters (aged 10 through to 19): Ben Francis (also the Director), Camryn Jordans (also the Musical Director), Lewis Shilvock (also the Choreographer), Zara Blight, Leah Harford, Monica Horta, Serena Martino-Williams, Jess Muenchow, Shanaya Silva, Erin Sowerby, Rory Adams, Ned Baulderstone, Harry Fiedler, Tom Russell, Ethan Schembri, and featured dancer, Jasmin Carter.
This reviewer needed to list all 16 cast as it would be totally unfair to miss anyone out as they were all top class. Some brought specific skills with them though that need to be acknowledged: Francis’ thoughtful and clever choosing of the material, Shilvock’s brilliant choreographic skills and his emotion-packed dance duet with Carter; Schembri’s piano skills; Sowerby who at 14 looks nothing like Aretha Franklin but has her voice; and Baulderstone and Russell, whose audience interaction skills were hilarious and professional.
Guest speaker, 2016 Young South Australian of the Year, Arman Abrahimzadeh, spoke of his personal and tragic encounter with domestic violence – his mother was stabbed to death by his father out the front of the Adelaide Convention Centre in 2010 – and brought home the enormity of this disgusting crime.
It certainly gives one hope for the future, of not only entertainment but the world, when well presented youngsters tackle such a hard core issue with guts, energy and integrity.
Do yourself a huge favour and keep an ear and eye out for what Promise Adelaide have in store for next year. Trust me, it feels so good to know that you are doing your small bit to aid a worthwhile charity whilst being wonderfully entertained..
Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Two performances only – Season Ended
Disclaimer: Ben Francis is an Arts reviewer for Glam Adelaide
Photo Credit: Mason Digital Photography