‘Theatre Allsorts – One-Act Youth Season 2018’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

by September 12, 2018

‘Theatre Allsorts – One-Act Youth Season 2018’. Three very entertaining plays presented by the Stirling Youth Players – who are aged from 10 to 17 yrs. and show a great deal of theatrical maturity – can be seen at the Stirling Theatre, Morris Place, Innaloo until Saturday 8th at 7.30 with one Sunday matinée on 9th September at 2.00 pm.

It is wonderful to see youngsters being given a chance to perform, but what was particularly impressive was that every actor valued their chance to act, and put every effort into their performances. We have all experienced shows where a star-struck youngster stands motionless beaming at their parents, or popping their heads around the drapes in the wings, however, these shows were most professionally run with well-focused and enthusiastic casts. Well done.

The production was liaised by Yvette Wall, and the smooth, efficient stage management was by Fran Gordon and Liz Pemberton, who were assisted by Hannah Pemberton.

The lighting design for all three plays was by Ian Wilson and operated by Carole Wilson.

The superb sound operation was by Ian Wilson; Stirling now has the most magnificent sound in Perth Community Theatre. Their new desk, amplifiers etc. was stunningly crisp, outstanding.

 

‘A Year and a Day’ is a delightful tale of friendship and caring, written by Belfast playwright, Christina Reid.

       Seated on the stage apron in a red armchair, is a young storyteller (Atira Shack, entrancing) telling her pet – the singer (Lucie Gray) – an ancient story.

       Behind a scrim we see the trail of exhausted refugees, led by a musician (Callum Coull), escaping a feud. The Silver Star Tribe and the Crimson Moon Tribe from across the river have been at war for years. Now the two groups meet in a leafy hollow where their every movement is watched by three woodland imps, the Kritter (Caitlin Quick), the Treekritter (Sydney-Rose Fox) and the Waterkritter (Brenna Jackson).

     The three creatures whisper and try to guide the rulers, The Silver Pontificator (Sinan Wehrli) and The Crimson Pontificator (Leo Brown) in an attempt to bring peace.

Ensemble – The Silver Star Tribe – Ellie O’Callaghan, Giselle Allison, Grace Brenna, Tom Weeks, Ruby Kennington, and from the Crimson Moon Tribe – Nils Soderstrom, Myah Morava-Guardione, Sarsha Mathias, Lily Cassarchis, Charlotte Spencer.

The creatures and regal pontificators’ inventive costumes were made by Sarah Brown and Natalie Allison. Simple but most effective scenery.

Good solid direction by Andie Holborn and her assistant Caitlin Quick. The cast were well rehearsed and moved around the stage smoothly.

 

‘Long Live the King’ is a clever historical piece, written by WA’s much admired playwright, Yvette Wall. This ingenious play gives the audience a most detailed Tudor history in a palatable manner, without anyone feeling that they are having a boring history lesson.

        King Henry VIII has died and his young son, Prince Edward (Jack Churchman – assured) is about to take the Throne. Not far away, the insufferable and overbearing Lady Lucy (Kirra Hosking – excellent, you made me squirm) is berating her servant, poor Alice (Jess Hosking, you earned my sympathy).

       Nearby, the caring and majestic Lady Elizabeth (Isobel Green, wonderful) discusses the recent death of her father and her hopes for the future of England.

The young cast brought this fabulous little story to life with their adult acting skills, under the accomplished guidance of director Scarlett Greenock. Most enjoyable.

 

‘A Week in Progress’ was originally written as a 15-minute piece for a school competition, which of course it won. It was then developed into the present play, the first script by 18-year old Cassidy Pemberton.

Cassidy’s writing demonstrates that she understood her cast’s capabilities, her anticipated audience and then skilfully wrote and modified the script appropriately.

        On the stage apron, sitting at his desk, is Alex (Cameron Clear). He is typing on his computer, trying to find a suitable ending to his play. He tries several endings; some fun, others quite bloody (OK for the smallest youngsters)

     Queen Alina (Sophie Flannigan) and bold Leopold (Peter White, born comic) are walking through the forest when they meet and are challenged by Slywuflin (Lisa McCarthy) who looks like the wild man of the jungle. The loving fairy Queen, Solara (Macy Sharp) tries to pacify the situation, but Quimby (Aiden Wilcox),

Myrmy (Ben Lane – excellent) a maniac who is hyper and loves to have a sword in his hand, and Rundrid (Zavier Wileman) are ready for a fight. Even the cat, Twinkles (Molly Jones) who looks sweet is quite vicious.

People who read my reviews will have heard me mention the expression ‘if you write, don’t direct’; well director Cassidy Pemberton has proved me wrong. Directing youngsters can be extremely difficult at the best of times, but her cast were magnificent. They not only captured the humour of the play, but delivered the very dry hilarity with subtlety. Congrats to everyone.

The costumes for all of the plays were by Emily Patrick, Sarah Brown, Natalie Allison and Fran Gordon. A couple of the actors – who were both very good – had great trouble looking at the person they were talking to, this is a trait that can be difficult to conquer later in life. If you are worried about forgetting lines or laughing because you are looking at someone it is important that you learn now how to handle it.

Three very impressive plays, with not a single weak performance.