Friday, March 21, 2014

THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK




Supa Productions

ANU Arts Centre until 29th March 2014

Reviewed by Bill Stephens

 
More “Sex in the City” than “The Sound of Music”, “The Witches of Eastwick”” is a raunchy, adult musical about three unhappy divorcees who each become entangled with the same mysterious stranger in their quest for love.   

Louiza Blomfield, Kelly Roberts and Vanessa de Jager are a formidable trio of leading ladies. Each offers superb singing and a strong characterisation. Their trios are especially impressive.

Jarrad West as the mysterious interloper impresses with a strong, committed performance, but needs to dig deeper into his own undoubted personal charm to make the boorish behaviour of his character palatable.

Louiza Blomfield, Kelly Roberts, Jarrad West, Vanessa de Jager
Photo: Garrick Smith
Michelle Klempke has great fun chewing up the scenery as the interfering town busybody. She gets great support from Dennis Bittisnich as her ineffectual husband. Laura Dawson and Alexander Clubb are charming as the young lovers, while Georgia Foster playing the little girl steals the best laugh of the night with a surprise twist.

Good songs, very well sung by all the cast, arresting performances from the principals, big production numbers featuring energetic dancing, some impressive scenic elements and Rose Shorney’s taut and terrific band, should have guaranteed first night success. However,  despite everyone’s  valiant efforts, the huge technical challenges ultimately proved too much, with  principal characters too often unlit at crucial moments, stage hands much too visible, unfocussed direction and occasional moments which blurred the fine line between sophistication and tackiness. Recommended for adult audiences.
 
(This review first published in the digital edition of CITY NEWS on 15th March and  appears in the March 20 print edition.) 

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