Shows: Spot­light’s new-gen tackle tribal love mu­si­cal Hair..

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY CONTENTS -

DECADES have passed since the Viet­nam War and the counter cul­ture move­ment that grew out of it, but the stage mu­si­cal Hair, de­but­ing at Spot­light Theatre to­mor­row night, re­mains as rel­e­vant as ever.

It tells the sto­ries of Claude, his friend Berger, their room­mate Sheila and their long-haired, po­lit­i­cally ac­tive hippy friends as they jug­gle lives, loves and the sex­ual rev­o­lu­tion with re­bel­lion against the war, con­ser­va­tive par­ents and so­ci­ety in gen­eral.

Sean Cur­ran, who plays Berger, says themes such as free love, drug abuse, war and be­ing an out­sider, res­onate as much to­day as they did in the 1970s.

‘‘His­tory has a ten­dency to re­peat it­self,’’ he says.

‘‘The con­ver­sa­tions we’ve been hav­ing are in­ter­est­ing. A cou­ple of the younger kids in the pro­duc­tion have heaps of ques­tions. We try to an­swer those as best we can and con­trast it all to what’s hap­pen­ing right now.’’

Cur­ran hopes Hair will bring to­gether au­di­ences of all ages.

‘‘It’s about the kids of that age who are now our el­ders,’’ he says.

‘‘Ev­ery­one I’ve spo­ken to in their 40s, 50s and 60s, such as my par­ents and their friends, say they’ll get a buzz out of it. It’s spe­cial for them that we’re tak­ing on this con­tent. It’s still very rel­e­vant. I don’t think the spirit died.’’

Cur­ran de­scribes him­self as a bit of a hippy. He says the role of Berger has been one of his best fits to date.

‘‘I’ve been a free-spir­ited soul for most of my life, and I feel quite at home in the Berger’s pants, or loin­cloths . . . what­ever he wears,’’ he laughs.

‘‘One of the best things about the run is it plays the same dates as the 44th an­niver­sary of Wood­stock. Th­ese days, there are so many reg­u­la­tions for raves and fes­ti­vals, but on Au­gust 16, 17 and 18 we can re­live that ’70s spirit.

‘‘Some of the cast mem­bers, in­clud­ing our mu­si­cal di­rec­tor, were in a pro­duc­tion be­fore in the ’90s and bring so much knowl­edge with them.

Though the pro­duc­tion brings to­gether cast mem­bers with very dif­fer­ent vo­cal styles and ranges, di­rec­tor Kim Reynolds says Hair is the most stress-free pro­duc­tion she has ever worked on.

Hair in­cludes Sean Cur­ran, seated front and cen­tre.

‘‘This kind of show at­tracts a cer­tain kind of per­son who is theatre-trained but has a good dose of rock in them too,’’ she says.

‘‘We have a Ten Tenor in the show, Scott Muller, who plays the lead role, Claude, and other pro­fes­sional per­form­ers.

Reynolds says it’s been more chal­leng­ing for younger ones to grasp the con­cepts of the show be­cause they have grown up in dif­fer­ent times.

‘‘We’ve done a lot of re­search and I’ve sent them heaps of YouTube clips and I think if any­thing be­ing in the show has made them more aware and I hope it will do the same thing our au­di­ence.

‘‘A cou­ple of the guys have grown their hair and they have re­ally adopted the char­ac­ters. We’ve gone with the orig­i­nal stage ver­sion more so than the movie which I thought was a re­ally ran­dom rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the story.’’

Reynolds says the show isn’t for kids as it’s renowned for its pro­fane de­pic­tion of il­le­gal drug use, lan­guage, treat­ment of sex­u­al­ity, ir­rev­er­ence for the Amer­i­can flag and a con­tro­ver­sial nude scene.

– JESSICA HUXLEY

Hair plays Spot­light Theatre, Thurs­days to Satur­days at 7.30pm from to­mor­row un­til Au­gust 24, with 2pm mati­nees on Au­gust 11 and 18. Call 5539 4255 to book.

The cast of Spot­light Theatre’s pro­duc­tion of

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