Theatre Review: Stop the Presses

Scotch College chose to burst back onto the theatre scene with a collection of excepts from popular musicals.

Presented by Scotch College
Reviewed 16 October 2020

Scotch College chose to burst back onto the theatre scene with a collection of excepts from popular musicals. Director Nina Richards and Musical Director Antony Hubmayer, with assistance from Mark Stefanoff, have put together an interesting selection from seven musicals.

The standard was very good: simple staging with easy entrances and exits and minimal set. The only drawback for me was the music occasionally drowned the singers, not enough to spoil the show but enough to miss some of the solos. The inventive chorography by Nina Richards with assistance from Irene Setchell and Jessica Mills was a highlight.

The show opened with Welcome to the Rock from Come From Away which had the cast showing fine strength lead by Jim Martin followed by Stop The World featuring Adele Hubmayer and Jack Raft, with a lovely version of Me and the Sky by Millie Brake. Then Georgina Polischko brought in the Matilda segment with Naughty, and School Song. When I Grow Up had a variety of soloists (too many to name individually). Grace Johnston did well with My House as Miss Honey and Zara Windle joined as Matilda with Quiet. Blake Taylor was stirring as the lead soloist in Revolting Children which showed the depth of talent in the ensemble with great vocals and choreography.

Again, there were many soloists in Sister Act, the next musical, but the harmonies are what stood out in this culminating with the very enthusiastic Raise Your Voice. Then Harry McGinty, Oliver Lawes and Harry Ince led the troupe of newsboys striking in Newsies with The World Will Know. Issie Mennillo did well with Watch What Happens and again the segment ended with enthusiasm, this time with Seize The Day, again vocally strong with interesting energetic movement.

The second act took us to Oz. No One Mourns the Wicked by soloists Imogeone Mons, Ella Atkins, Jasmyn Setchell and Chloe Slee, was a great opening followed by The Wizard and I by Sophia Thompson, who was joined by Millie Brake for One Short Day, For Good and Defying Gravity, with a strong ending supported by a magically attired chorus.

Billy Elliot changed the mood with Charlie Miller as Mrs Wlkinson and Lucas Nunn as Billie doing a heart-rending version of The Letter and Lucas shone in Electricity. The chorus were fun in Shine to begin this part, but the strength was in the larger chorus who finished with We Once Were  Kings complete with miners helmets and lamps.

The final segment was from Hamilton, which I thought was a bold choice for a school production – they made me eat my words! Jack Raft (Aaron Burr) Max Braford (John Laurens) and Harry McGinty (Alexander Hamilton) handled Alexander Hamilton, My Shot and Room Where It Happens with maturity and fine voices. Charlie Miller, Issie Mennillo and Imogene Mons were great as the Schuyler Sisters. The finale of the section was Battle of Yorktown where Jim Martin joined as Lafayette and Josh O’Callaghan as Hercules Mulligan, with the rest of the senior ensemble in appropriate costumes moving with precision. It was very impressive.

I would thoroughly recommend this show for your return to live theatre but unfortunately it was already sold out before I saw it. Watch out for their next offering.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Your Twitter: @franeds

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