Theatre Review: Thoroughly Modern Millie

‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ is the delightful stage musical version of the highly successful 1960s Julie Andrews movie.

By

Presented by G & S Society of South Australia
Reviewed 30 Sept 2016

Photo credit: David Haddy
Photo credit: David Haddy

Despite the heavens being against them, the G & S Society have put on a heavenly production. With a cancelled dress rehearsal and first night the odds seemed against them, but you can’t keep a good cast down! The audience on Friday (the eventual opening) was enthusiastic, supportive and enjoyed every moment.

In the capable hands of director David Sinclair this production shines. Ably supported by Heather Elliott with the musical direction and the superb choreography of Shenayde Wilkinson-Sarti, Sinclair has brought this fun story to life again. His art deco set is well lit by Alexander Ramsey’s lighting design and beautifully complemented by the projections and digital media of Matthew Berry and Craig Williams. Helen Snoswell’s costumes complete the picture with style.

Alana Shepherdson as Millie Photo credit: David Haddy
Alana Shepherdson as Millie
Photo credit: David Haddy

A good set is nothing without a cast to fill it and this one is full of stars, not the least of which is the leading lady Alana Shepherdson. Not only can she sing the part and dance everyone else off stage, but she IS Millie! Supporting her is a fine array of performers. Mitchell Smith as Jimmy Smith never overplays the romantic lead while Buddy Dawson plays the quirky Trevor Graydon III to the hilt; he goes beyond over-the-top and it works! As the innocent Miss Dorothy, Emily Wood has a naïveté that makes her totally believable.

The real comedy is in fine hands with Pam O’Grady as Mrs Meers, (the villainess) and her unwilling henchmen Ching Hoo (Harry Nguyen) and Bun Foo (Paulo Nacianceno). Much laughter ensued from their crazy antics. Nadine Wood created a great character in Miss Flannery, keeping control of the typing pool.

The chorus were another jewel in this crown, tapping up a storm. The choreography routines were bright and very well executed. Hayley Wolfendale and Thomas Brodie Phillips as Dance Captains worked them well and the result was a polished performance. I encourage you to visit the Arts Theatre in the next week and have your spirits lifted!

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue: Arts Theatre Angus St Adelaide
Season: 29 Sept – 8 Oct 2016
Duration: 2hr 45mins
Tickets: Adult $38, Conc $33, Child $25
Bookings: 8447 7239 or go to BASS

 

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