Printable CopySHOW AND SPELL
Wings2Fly Theatre
Holden Street Theatres
Until 05 Oct 2019

Review by Janice Bailey

Wings2Fly Theatre is about ‘fostering young actors across Adelaide’. Directors Michelle Nightingale and Alicia Zorkovik are both experienced performers and their mutual love of acting and music brought them together to form Wings2Fly. The 16 actors involved in ‘Show and Spell’ had only 6 days of rehearsal to bring this show to life – a remarkable feat for a group of any age and experience. From the moment the doors opened, the energy in the auditorium was buzzing with an air of excitement. A simple set divided into two sections was presented on stage – as the audience awaited in anticipation. Co-Director, Michelle Nightingale, opened the show with a short comedic announcement and then it was ‘on with the show’.

The stereotypical characters provided familiarity and comedic value for the audience as well as providing a base for the actors into the process of character development. This was executed through a series of monologues, duologues and 3-handers, providing each actor with opportunity to connect with the audience and to have an evenly balanced amount of stage time. The black-out set changes were well-rehearsed with the cast of 16 sharing responsibility for clearing and resetting the stage. There were high energy, focused performances with consistency across the cast. On the whole, script knowledge was excellent with only minor ‘stumbles’ from some. Stand-out performances for presence and command were Millie Rook as Debra, Siena Turner as Lily and Astrid Teague as Elouise. Grace Manifold as Sunny shared a striking resemblance to a young Nikki Webster. Madame Dubois, played by Britney was an audience favourite.

Some areas for improvement were vocal pitch as at times some performers became somewhat ‘shrill’. Some also had difficulty in moving in ‘heels’ so this became a restriction to their performance. On the whole, vocal projection was at standard but at times some lines were lost due to diminished projection. The performance was an appropriate length and the first half zipped by, leaving a feeling that very little was lacking – the unique curtain call at the end of the show was a great touch.

Overall, this performance was an excellent achievement for a short rehearsal period and the learning experience of being part of a team and working together to build a finished product came across in bucket loads. Wings2Fly should be commended for providing authentic performance opportunities for young people and also for providing opportunities for them to work with industry professionals.