Monday, 9 December 2013

GUEST POST: Kristian Pellissier talks pigs blood with Carrie: the Musical

Carrie: the Musical. Image courtesy of Kabuku PR.

Carrie: the Musical
Seymour Centre: November 13 - 30


For me, the idea of Carrie as a musical conjured images of an intensely camp night out in the vein of Rocky Horror Picture Show. Most are familiar with the 1976 film adaptation of the Stephen King novel, which explores the unraveling of Carrie White: a high school girl with a fragile spirit and telekinetic powers. By the time I entered the Seymour Centre, I had a wish-list of elements I hoped would be included in this Squabbalogic production: flying performers under the influence of Carrie's telekinesis; perhaps a song centered around the bucket of pig's blood; or (dare I say it) Carrie as interpreted by a drag queen.

In this staging, all the elements of the show are kept relatively simple. The set - a skeleton structure that doubles as Carrie's home and high school - is used effectively. While the choreography isn't innovative, it manages a few tongue-in-cheek moments, and the musicians are particularly lively in their accompaniment throughout. Plot, characterisations and tone stayed largely true to the film, with strong performances by Margi de Ferranti as Carrie's mother and Hilary Cole in the title role.  The entire cast presented generally well-rounded characters and played for emotional honesty.  


Carrie: the Musical. Image courtesy of Kabuku PR.

The show is evenly paced up to the Prom scene, building anticipation for those audience members in the know. From the beginning of the prom scene onwards however, the action suddenly quickens. While this could be to build momentum, it ultimately feels like a missed opportunity for Carrie and her mother to pull out the all the theatrical and vocal stops. For a production that is going for chills rather than chuckles, this also feels like it should be the moment to ramp up the fear factor. 

While this wasn't the show that I was expecting, Carrie: the Musical still offers a fun night out for the curious.

Kristian currently works as a dancer, dance teacher, adjudicator and Program Officer for the Australia Council for the Arts.


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