Posts Tagged ‘spamalot

07
Oct
14

Monty Python’s Spamalot

 

Monty Python’s Spamalot

Harvest Rain

QPAC Concert Hall

October 2 – 5 2014

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

Right. Look, every company has a sacred cow and Spamalot is probably Harvest Rain’s.

 

It’s a very silly, very funny, very popular award winning show and it will not do anyone any good to say anything that is not rave, rave, rave about this production. In fact, to say anything critical is simply missing the point, right? This show is fun, fun, fun! And I love Monty Python! And look! Jon English and Simon Gallaher together again on stage at QPAC! Harvest Rain are so good now at giving their audiences what they want that really, it’s a bit ridiculous for me to post anything at all, and I haven’t done for a few days, genuinely unsure about whether or not it’s worth calling out a company that does so much GOOD.

 

I was so bemused confused impressed by the overwhelmingly enthusiastic and very forgiving opening night reception that some lyrics of my own popped into my head when The Song That Goes Like This refused to leave it! This is a silly review for a silly show that was obviously a heap of fun to create and for the vast majority, a heap of fun to watch. The highlights for me were in the performances by Dash Kruck, Chris Kellett, Julie Anthony, Frank Woodley, and in the one highly polished full production number, which cleverly updated and relocated, You Won’t Succeed in Showbiz. You might not recall Eric Idle’s version of The Mikado’s I’ve Got a Little List (we grew up with this production on VHS!), but you may have enjoyed more recently, Mitchell Butel’s brilliant performance (2011). I enjoyed less than others, obviously, the awkward moments; pauses and LOL that seemed to indicate we were a little lost along the way to finding our grail. Also, can I say Dan Venz is the Cassie of every chorus? This is not actually a bad thing. I can’t wait to see what he choreographs for Footloose.

 

If you didn’t see it – it was another short season over one weekend at QPAC’s Concert Hall – you can take my word for it; Monty Python’s Spamalot is another official Harvest Rain Smash Hit! Really! What do I know? Everybody (else) LOVED it!

 

 

 The Show That Goes Like This

 

At least once every year

There comes a show like this

The main cast is paid loads

And think they’ll take the piss

Where is the show that goes like this?

Where is it? Where? Where? Here it is! Here!

 

A Monty Python show

Accolades where’re it goes

The punters sing along

They know every silly song

For this is the show they love like this

Yes it is! Yes it is!

 

Now the cast should know their job

And remember why they’re here

Is Julie Anthony the only one who cares?

 

Jon English is a star

But he’s taken it too far

Impro

visation

fail!

 

Frank Woodley’s comedy

Is perfect for this show

But the French scene goes too long

For jokes we’re scraping low

For this is the show that goes like this!

 

I’m feeling slightly gypped

Although they’re well equipped

to put on a polished show

this really isn’t it

For this is their show to take the piss!

 

I can’t believe there’s more

Did they not learn before?

Dash, Chris and Shaun are gold

But this show’s been oversold

Will we accept more shows that go like this?

Yes we will! Of course we will!

 

Harvest Rain have got some gall

It’s true, they have a ball

We need the upbeat shows

But at what price we go?

The company comes out on top like this!

 

 

23
Nov
13

The Stars Shine Bright in Brisbane: Harvest Rain Season Launch 2014

 

Harvest Rain Theatre 2014 season launch

QPAC Playhouse

18th  November 2013

Attended by Meredith Walker

 

Harvest Rain stars shine in 2014

 

After 18 days of social media clues, Harvest Rain Theatre Company revealed its 2014 season in an all-singing, all-dancing launch at QPAC’s Playhouse. For the company’s 2014 season, its first as a fully professional company*, Harvest Rain will be continuing what it does best, presenting a trio of big musicals featuring an impressive list of Australian stars. The season features a golden oldie, a modern Broadway classic and a Broadway hit musical, ranging from the sublime to the silly, but all with promise of maximum entertainment.

 

Harvest Rain is fast developing a reputation for effectively reviving and recreating the classics.

 

The company’s 2013 Oklahoma proves that classic musicals can still be popular and the company aims to recapture the magic when it reintroduces the delightful musical Guys and Dolls to a modern audience in March.  After their acclaimed performances in Oklahoma, Ian Stenlake and Angela Harding will reteam in the show and the audience was reminded of their vocal talents, including through Stenalke’s dynamic performance of Luck be a Lady. The really big news, however, was that the company has recently signed Gold Logie winner Daryl Somers to play Nicely Nicely Johnson, a role made famous on the Australian stage by the late Ricky May. And Somers was in full schick mode as he hammed it up about his preparation for the weighty role. Auditions for professional ensemble roles are to be held in December.

 

Image by Nick Morrissey

 

Everyone is invited to the Jellicle Ball when the company presents Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats in an arena spectacular style show at the Brisbane Convention Centre for five performances in May. With over 500 performers taking to the stage, Cats promises to be a glorious production of immense scale. Indeed, it will be the largest production of Cats ever staged in the southern hemisphere. While the whimsical cats shone both on stage and as they slinked about the post-launch function, the highlight was undoubtedly headliner Marina Prior’s goosebumpy performance of Memory, the show’s haunting anthem.

 

Audiences are guaranteed a good time when Simon Gallaher and Jon English reunite thirty years after their Pirates of Penzance romp for the Tony Award winning Monty Python musical Spamalot, based on the cult 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. After rousing renditions of Knights of the Round Table and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Lady of the Lake Julie Anthony revealed how she was coaxed out of retirement for the show, which will be staged in QPAC’s Concert Hall in October.

 

Harvest Rain has not only earned its place at QPAC, but its energetic approach to theatre making makes its works valuable resources for school groups. Indeed, shows such as Cats, provide an exciting access point to for school students to engage with a classic text, wether that text be Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beloved musical or its genesis, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Elliot, in a welcoming context. Not only this, but the company offers students the opportunity to engage with the arts on a practical level though their musical theatre internship program, in keeping with its aim to nurture young artists in their passion for the performing arts. Harvest Rain will also be conducting auditions for the Cats youth ensemble in early December.

 

The Arts in Australian schools is at a turning point; Australian students now all have an entitlement to education in the five art forms – dance, drama, media arts, music and visual art.

 

Companies such as Harvest Rain, should be commended for the manner in which they encourage young people to participate in the Arts more fully and to understand how the arts provide unique and valuable ways of making meaning.

 

Harvest Rain’s motto for 2014 is ‘the stars shine bright in Brisbane’ and if the 2014 launch is any indication, this is indeed the case, as the company adds to their list of the acclaimed artists who have trodden the boards in a Harvest Rain show over the past three decades.

 

*In 2014, Harvest Rain is giving young amateur performers from across South-East Queensland the opportunity to take part in a large-scale arena presentation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS, the largest production of the classic musical ever staged in the southern hemisphere.

 

Australia’s leading lady of musical theatre, Marina Prior, will star as Grizabella in this record breaking production, along with a core cast of professional musical theatre performers (auditions for the professional adult cast will be held in January 2014). Surrounding this cast will be a large youth ensemble made up of over 500 young amateur performers from across South-East Queensland.

 

If you want to be one of those young performers, then apply to audition today!