Therry Theatre
The Arts Theatre
Until 18 Jun 2016

Review by Fran Edwards

Once every so often a production of a musical comes along that makes you realize that magic happens if the conditions are right. Of course it takes a good production team, one with vision, a cast that can understand and interpret the writer’s dream and lots and lots of talent. Big Fish is one such show.

Therry has assembled a terrific team, Amanda Rowe as director, Mark DeLaine as MD and Kerry Hauber as Choreographer. Add to that Jason Groves lighting design, Tim Freedman (Allpro Audio) designing sound, Andy Ooyendyk as scenic artist, and an incredible team building the set and you have a basis for a great production.

Then you have the cast. Much of the success of the production lies with the characters of Edward Bloom and his son Will, both played expertly by Andrew Crispe and Lindsay Prodea. Edward needs to be larger than life, but this only works if he is contrasted with the strength of Will’s unbending reliance on truth, something he thinks his father can’t tell.

These may be two outstanding cast members but so much other talent supports them. Rebecca Raymond as Edward’s wife Sandra, Kate Hodges as Will’s wife Josephine, Josh Barkley as Don Price (Edward’s rival) and Oscar Bridges as the young Will. And then there are the fantasy characters in Edward’s stories: Trish Hart as the Witch, Scott Nell as a very convincing giant, John Rosen as the showman and Megan Langford as Jenny Hill, Edward’s other love.

The ensemble is filled with familiar faces who do a brilliant job and the very good orchestra similarly had recognizable names such as Emma Knights, Gordon Combes, Nicole Molloy, Paul Hampton –Smith and Corrine Teng to mention a few.

I could continue to rave, but I suggest you buy a ticket and see for yourself before they sell out.