25
Aug
12

Working

Working

Harvest Rain Theatre Company

Mina Parade Warehouse

15th August – 12th August 2012

Director CATARINA HEBBARD
Choreographer CALLUM MANSFIELD
Music Director MITCHELL DORMER

Reviewed by Eric Gilbert

Working Harvest Rain Theatre CompanyHarvest Rain Theatre Company has a terrific internship program.  Part of the formation of the participants, young actors, singers and dancers is to put up a full professional musical and perform four nights in front of an audience.

Working is a musical about working men and women, about their lives, hopes, dreams, disappointment, hardships, sorrow, happiness.  Anyone who has worked even a single day in his life will easily empathise with the cast.  In fact the themes are so universally recognisable that my 16 year old son and 8 year old daughter, who accompanied me to the show, had a great immersive experience.  This is not to say that it is a kid’s show, but there are many different layers that can speak to different people.

Because the musical is set in the USA, the actors speak with American accents.  This feels somewhat unnatural at first as some actors sound more convincing than others, but the impression soon disappears as it complements the themes and the script perfectly.  Early on the spectator is drawn into the play by the cast directly addressing the audience.   You cannot remain a mere observer for very long.

The different scenes are consecutively built around a new character in a specific job or workplace bringing a song portraying his/her plight.  With 21 actors individually taking center stage throughout the show, inevitably some scenes resound more profoundly than others for their humor, emotional content, strong singing talent or choreography.  However thanks to the swift tempo of the show the rare weaker moments never echo long and are easily forgotten in the next gripping or laugh-out-loud scene.

Overall this is a strong heartfelt and intimate musical, to which the smaller but comfortable theatre lends itself very well.  Strong choreography, great timing, fun interaction with the audience and good solid singing and acting skills make you leave the theatre with heart and soul fulfilled.  I wouldn’t be too surprised if some of these young actors manage to make a solid name for themselves in the near future.

Unfortunately, I was not able to see Harvest Rain’s Musical of musicals this weekend but my daughter and son took my wife.  I strongly believe that feeding culture to your kids at a young age is a gift for life.  Oh, and at such democratic prices, enjoying the work of a young, dynamic and enthusiastic company can easily be a weekly activity without hurting the family budget.  Nothing but a too-short season should stop you from having this experience!

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