Gloucester Arts and Cultural Council Inc's (GACCI) Players stepped on stage at the Gloucester Civic Centre on Friday, June 17 for the debut of The 39 Steps, and by all accounts the production was a great success.
Arne Sjostedt from Canberra has kindly provided the Gloucester Advocate with a glowing review of the play about murder, mystery, mayhem and a man with a missing finger.
Theatre is such a fun space to land.
No-one knows what goes on inside the black box of a clean space until the lights come on, and someone dances.
You should call it acting, but instead, what the GACCI Players did was dance.
With Dave Keen in the lead role of dashing Richard Hannay - the production of The 39 Steps, originally a film by Alfred Hitchcock, was a blast from the first second until the last.
It had light, bravery, energy, a cinematic soundscape, and a sense of vaudeville-esq fun that was all pervading.
With Keen inhabiting every ounce of his character, this show took off and spun out of control. In a good way.
For comedy, vixen behaviour, intrigue, and insane antics that kept you in stitches, the ensemble's strength was in their abundance of talent, and hard preparation.
Hours must have gone into this play's rehearsal, using improvisation to generate the comedy, and letting their characters speak.
With all but Keen playing multiple roles, the clever and inspired Emme Hoggett, Rod Burrows, James Hooke and Peter Moon joined the fray with all the skill and confidence of a well travelled group of players.
Supported by a precise production crew, sound was by Pat Burrows, lighting by Anne Keen and Lucky Moulds, and back stage antics were under the proud management of Riley Hunt, Peter Moon and Hailey Trudgeon.
Fast paced, amazing, running forward with scene after scene stealing the show. I
It is impossible to celebrate what happened on stage at one point, as the entire evening was a success.
Tightly directed by Maureen 'Moz' Hjorth in what she hoped might be her last production, with the energy and satisfaction of a high class professional show, set in the classic setting of a community theatre, you couldn't have asked for a better evening.
You don't need to be at the Sydney Wharf Theatre or Covent Garden to have a good night out.
Go to the next GACCI show.
Going home was the hard part.
But that is what happens when a great piece of theatre blasts you up into the place where the gods live.
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