Association of Community Theatre

Show Reviews - June  2017


Congress Players


Director: John Wood

Musical Director: Paul Firth

Dance Director: Jane Wood


This show is sheer entertainment, it doesn’t have a score as suchm it has a collection of pre-existing camp, classic hit songs. The show has to be delivered with the highest degree of energy, which has to be maintained right through to the tour bus taking its bow. There cannot be any weak links as every element is crucial to the entertainment value. An audience should not go away only liking certain sections of the show. The cork has to pop from the bottle of fizz and all that glitters must follow.


Drag is nothing new. From Elizabethan times to the most important female impersonator of our time, Danny La Rue, this art form has always created an audience, and it is now a part of main stream entertainment.


Nothing was spared for this musical comedy-drama. From Scenic Projects, fabulous set with the all-important bus effectively becoming another character. Utopia’s excellent costumes played homage to the original film costumes. The lighting and the disco-fuelled sound were equal partners in their contribution to the overall image of the piece. The look and tone of the presentation captured the colourful world of Tick, Adam and Bernadette’s eventful trip.

The creative team brought out the drama, the relationships were truthful, the choreography was imaginative and the music was powerfully delivered. They struck the right balance between the drama and comedy. All the accents were good never inhibiting the story from getting through.


Bring on the Divas, Dawn Leigh, Kerry Newton and Lizy Oakes. They were sassy and belted out those disco hits. The ensemble also convincingly played a range of parts all of whom added to the production values.


There was an array of outlandish characters encountered along the journey from Sydney to Alice Springs. From Cynthia (Jordanne Woodward), the feisty Filipino, who performs obscure ‘stage tricks’ to Shirley (Dawn Allison), the hardened bar tender. They all made you want to get on the bus with Bernadette and the boys. A special mention must go to Alex Schofield for his performance as Benji.


Playing Bernadette, a transsexual, a former headliner of “Les Girls” and mother of the group is no mean feat. John Wood captured the charm of the character and showed the razor wit of the dignified older woman. The touching attraction for Bob (John Whitehead) and the chemistry between them came across well, Bernadette really bared her soul.


Then there is the bitchy, flamboyant, Adam, who wants to have fun, so much of which gets him into all sorts of trouble. Paul Hodgkinson was well cast as “Felicia" (Adam's stage name), the rebellious one, risking so much to push life’s boundaries.


The most difficult character to portray of the group is Anthony, nicknamed ‘Tick”. He has to have a straight exterior. He is an absent father to his 8 year old son, Benji, from his marriage to Marion (Rebecca Wood). He has now come “out” and is based in Sydney as a drag artist who performs under the stage name, Mitzi. Gary Jones-McCaw embraced the character adding pathos to his scenes with Benji. He presented a carefully drawn character.


This show was able to reach the audience from the first bars of music. It got the members of the audience on their feet, as they “Boogied” to the final mega mix.