BLACK IS ALWAYS IN STYLE
Theatre takes us on a historical and hysterical trip to the 1950s for Ladies in Black, along with a Back to the 80s blast from the past
The big opening locally this week was Gold Coast Little Theatre’s Back to the 80s, a riproaring celebration of a decade, choreographed and directed by Andrew Ross Graham. A capacity house welcomed hits including Wake Me Up Before You Go, Go, Total Eclipse of the Heart and many others, performed by a large, energetic and talented cast. As with so many local productions, it seems the technical side of things needs attention that I’m sure it will get. The show is a terrific way to relive the big hair and bright clothes of a decade many of us remember with affection. Book online or by calling 5532 2096. It runs until early March. Another nostalgic look at times gone by opens this weekend – Spotlight Theatre presents Saturday Night Fever, based on the blockbuster movie starring John Travolta. Call Spotlight Theatre on 5539 4255. The cast (almost complete) of Gold Coast Little Theatre’s forthcoming drama on the Abdication of Edward VIII has been announced. The role of King Edward (Duke of Windsor) will be played by Chris Catherwood. King George VI will be played by Rob Horton, Queen Elizabeth is Susan Cary, Sir Walter Monckton is played by Doug Williams, Mabell, Countess of Airlie is Lee Patterson, the Queen’s Page is played by David Austin and Princess Mary is played by Louise Harris. Several other roles are still under discussion, including Queen Mary, the mother of both kings. The play opens on May 6 and runs until May 27. Bookings are open now on 5532 2096. Another opening last week was the Helpmann Award winning new musical, Ladies in Black, back on the Brisbane stage and taking audiences on a historical and sometimes hysterical trip into the 1950s. Based on Madeline St Johns Novel Women in Black and adapted for stage by Carolyn Burns, the show takes you on a journey through the intolerance, discrimination and exclusion which was rampant in the era. The music and lyrics are provided by Tim Finn which, although not written in the style of the ’50s era, skilfully creates a picture of culture and values of the time. The songs, orchestrated by Guy Simpson, range from charmingly witty to raucously irreverent, which makes for a sparkling addition to the story. One is left wondering what surprising delight will be next. The show revolves around the life of Lisa, played by Sarah Morrison. She is a school leaver who is begrudgingly allowed, by her archetypal ’50s father, to take a temp job working the cocktail dresses counter at Goodes fashion store. Lisa is a clever girl and aspires to go to university and become a poet. Her song Soon I Will Be Me sets the scene for her hopes and dreams to break out of her father’s expectations for her to become the dutiful ’50s housewife. David Young directed the music, which was provided by the highly skilful onstage band. The stage was subtly set with six crystal columns depicting the interior of Goodes. Scene changes were provided by no less than three “revolves” set into the stage. Set pieces for the store and other interior scenes were whooshed on and off stage with expert timing and smoothness thanks to the stage manager Will Lewis and his team. The costumes looked completely authentic for the time. Although the show is called Ladies in Black there was plenty of colour and different styles all from the ’50s to feast your eyes on. The season runs until February 19 and tickets are selling fast. This is a highly recommended show and not one to be missed. See you in a crowded foyer real soon.
Ladies in Black is back on the Brisbane stage.