Seymour College CPA
Until 14 Jul 2018

Review by Janice Bailey

In Adelaide, young people with an interest in the performing arts are blessed with the choice of several youth arts options/opportunities. Wings2Fly is Adelaide’s newest addition and in this performance the group has delivered two pieces suitable for the young performers and relevant to audiences of various ages.

The scene is set for the first of the two plays, a historical piece connected by letters sent by soldiers and families from across all wartimes, through the use of war-appropriate projected images and a single lantern. The fourth wall is broken when, from the audience, a school girl played by Abbie Aylett, begins to sing of the futility of war. When the actors enter the space they disperse across the stage positioning themselves in different positions at varying levels. It is here they stay, in a static tableaux that moves between characters, offering snatches from each person’s letters. While initially the image is strong and enables the audience to clearly keep track of where the text has jumped to, a variation in levels between speeches would have been appreciated to keep visual interest.

The wonderful thing about the presentation of this piece was the level of consistency across all of the performers. They were clearly and deliberately directed and had an excellent sense of their text and the part of the story that was theirs to tell. Unfortunately during this particular performance, this piece had to be paused momentarily so that a gentlemen who had taken ill, could be removed from the audience. It is a testament to the creatives at Wings2Fly and the ensemble of young actors that not one of them dropped character and were able to jump back to the beginning of the scene and continue on. Many professionals would find this difficult.

The strong standard set in the first piece was continued into the second, a modern telling of a girl attempting to grasp every opportunity life has to offer and how her choices affect those around her. Once again there is a consistency across the ensemble with all performers provided the opportunity to shine but none more so than Ashlee Scott who plays the central character of Sophie. Her characterisation is authentic and her projection and physicality clear and appropriate. She does well to hold the story together and evokes empathy from the audience. While the story of this play is somewhat cliched, it does provide the ensemble the opportunity to explore themes and emotions relevant to them, which is exactly what is required and desired from youth theatre.

In the presentation of these pieces, Wings2Fly has incorporated all the essential elements of youth theatre – educational while providing the opportunity to explore theatrical skills and techniques that entertain an audience. An excellent effort of dedication, passion and skill in just six days from page to stage. Well done!