Entering the theatre on the 25th of August to a full house, we were already overwhelmed by a sense of excitement and didn’t know what to expect. We had heard all sorts of comments from students and teachers alike who had high hopes for this year’s production. We were excited to see the Reservoir High Performing Arts team break out of its comfort bubble of student devised performances and taking the leap to once again attempt a professional show. As we took our seats and the lights went down, the atmosphere of the audience was electric. Everyone was eager for the curtains to open and, as they did, the cast began with high energy and a huge BANG as they performed the opening number.
Ren McCormack (Jieremiah Murphy) is the troublemaker, inciting the young people of Bomont to dance, assisted by his new friend and simpleton, Willard (Damian Seddon). He meets his obstacle, the local Reverend (Michael Russo) whose daughter, Ariel (Marindi Jarrett and Lawra Alkalame, who performed the part on the same night, alternating between scenes). Despite Ariel’s crush on bad-boy Chuck (Tommy Lai who was cast in two parts and practically stole the show with his very funny characterisation of the Cowboy), she and Ren are drawn to each other. For Ariel, Ren represents a ticket out of Bomont and a chance at a life better suited for her.
We were very impressed with how the songs were incorporated into this performance. The cast members outdid themselves with the high energy and talent demonstrated with their playing, singing, dancing and acting. We couldn’t help but bop along to all the numbers of “Footloose”. The only negative was possibly that the songs stuck in our heads for days afterwards.
The leading cast acted with conviction to convey the relationship between characters, especially the mother-son relationship of Ren and his mother Ethel (Tali Conic). The two actors playing Ariel worked really well together to illustrate different facets of the character. While it seemed strange at first, it was soon forgotten with the help of clever directorial choices and an evenly shared part. The use of live music enhanced the professional level of the show.
In the new theatre, the cast and crew were able to cleverly stage the show with original ideas and experimentation. The backstage crew were most efficient in moving sets in the transition from one scene to another. Overall, this year’s show was successful in bringing our community together to celebrate our uniqueness and talent.
Tien Bui and Nikita Carolan-Gibbs (Year 11 Theatre Studies students)