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02 October 2015

Into The Woods - Live and with Bite

1st October 2015
Harvest Rain Theatre Company
Concert Hall QPAC
 Last night I came home on such a high. I hade firstly been ensconced in the centre of the front row for Harvest Rain's production of 'Into The Woods' at the Concert Hall, brilliantly directed by Tiim O Connor. After a speech which I had possibly gate crashed, I met and hugged Tim and had a brief chat with him as he beamed with delight at the great success. He truly knows how to cast and bring a show to life. I have seen several now and the company goes from strength to strenght.

Pirates of Penzance and  Guys and Dolls on this site.
From the outset I have to say the bite, sharp observation and wit are back in this show, unlike what was missing in the filmed version which I found bland. So if you had liked the film you really must experience how much better it can be live. This is how it should be and I recommed you rush right now to buy a ticket before it closes on Sunday.
So many great roles and so many ridiculoiusly talented people. Rhonda Burchmore was simply awesome as the Witch and her transformation from crone to beauty was quite stunning. It is one of those big ovation moments. After the show I managed to fawn and kiss her hand out in the foyer. It seemed appropriate. Stars like Rachel Beck and Eddie Perfect so justified their reputations as some of Australia's best. 

For me it was a special treat to once again see some truly great, exciting and rising stars like the glowing beauty Georgina Hopson as Cinderella whose stunning voice is a very precious gem even if Cinders is far from sure footed, and Tom Oliver as the naive Jack whose wonderful voice, charm and extraordinary charisma are projecting him in an ever upward trajectory. These two outstanding newcomers were both in Pirates Of Penzance earlier this year and tonight I managed to meet them both and congratulate them on an exceptional show. It made me so glad to be able to spread the love around including a hug for the birthday girl Georgina. What a way for her to celebrate with  yet another huge success after only graduating in 2014. 

Seeing Stephen Hirst yet again was a treat as he seduced Red as the Wolf and then had a go at everyone as the hilariously arrogant and disgustingly 'charming' prince. The second prince was beautifully played and sung by the very handsome Perth boy Riley Sutton who also doubled as the Steward. I was extraordinarily so pleased to see a real little horror as Red Riding Hood. Kinberley Hodgson was a hoot. She was as bloodthirsty, noisy, annoying and greedy as any great Red should be. A treat worth remembering. Musical genius and profoundly charming Jason Barry-Smith was musical director and produced a truly amazing theatrical and vibrant sound from the live orchestra on stage at the back of the set. I was lucky to chat to Jason as well. It still amazes me how Harvest Rain can transform the Concert Hall into a proscenium stage.
One final note is that this outstanding professional Musical Theatre company exists only through the generosity of donors and ticket sales. We have two great training centres for Musical Theatre here in Brisbane and some absolutely extraordinary talent emerging who are taking their place nationally, so it would be an outstanding idea for the Government to ensure it continues and flourishes with the introduction of financial support. I recall Wesley Enoch having an idea of making Brisbane a centre for the development of Australian Musical Theatre and with the proposal of an additiuonal 1500 seat theatre being built the time is now. Time to write to our wonderful Arts Minsiter and Premier and ask her to get on board.

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