Directed by Rowan Marshall
We may not have all the details for this production, if you have any pictures or information please let us know!
Author: Don McKay
Front of House under the management of RaeAnna Hammerbacker was efficient and welcoming. The auditorium, in the half round, looking onto the open stage with the excellent band secreted behind the on stage scaffolding, Musically Directed by Rowan Marshall, and the lead “TOMMY” played by Wolfie Hammerbacker, who’s remarkable interpretation of the role was already in play as the audience entered, and enhanced by the Introductory music of Pete Townsend.
The story of Tommy was narrated by the deaf dumb and blind kid himself. Starting with his birth and his mother’s, anguish on the report of her husband’s death in war, played with great pathos by Peta Riley. Tommy’s father, played superbly by Keith Jenkinson, returns unexpectedly to find that his wife has remarried, and subsequently kills Tommy’s stepfather. Tommy, who has witnessed the event, suddenly becomes deaf, dumb and blind.
The lighting was very well designed, considering the different levels, however there were some issues with the sound cues. The onstage set was well constructed and managed by Dan Cooper and Johnathan Shadlock, the onstage back projection was very effective. Costumes by Peta Riley were appropriate other than Tommy’s robe in the second act, which I thought was cumbersome and not necessary to affect the comparison to Jesus.
Wolfie Hammerbacker’s portrayal of Tommy was compelling, as was Peta Riley as Mrs Walker. Keith Jenkinson was outstanding as Capt. Walker. Katherine Burrr rocked it as Gypsy. Sean Webb as Cousin Kevin was intimidating and Simon Ockenden as Uncle Ernie was wonderfully disturbing. Hannah Williams as Sally Simpson sang beautifully and is definitely one to watch. The ensemble were full of energy and sang and danced with gusto, but none more so than Emma Evans, who acted out every character, with her body and facial expressions, that she played,
The stars of the show for me, were the amazing Choreography by Kym Land, whose variations of movement and shape were intricate and yet within the cast’s capabilities, and the brilliant band that performed the music of Pete Townesend to the best effect.
Rowan Marshall’s direction was spot on, as was his Musical Direction. However the omission of integral dialogue and the “ mirror “ was disappointing, and made it difficult for some members of the audience to keep up with the story.
This was a very enjoyable production by the VAMPS,” WHO” once again are prepared to push the boundaries.