Thursday, May 11, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
2023 Production of Sweet Charity
The latest edition of the Proserpine State High School theatre production is an amazing rendition of the classical musical Sweet Charity, based on the book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman, and lyrics by Dorothy Fields.
Sweet Charity follows Charity Hope Valentine, a young dance hall hostess in New York City. Charity has a series of relationship mishaps before she stumbles upon Oscar Lindquist, a shy accountant. The pair become close, engaged, before Oscar panics about Charity’s profession, and declares the wedding off. The production finishes with Oscar pushing Charity into the lake and running off.
The Proserpine State High School student participation in the 2023 production meant that two lead casts were created, a Senior Lead Cast, with Year 11 and 12 leads, and a Junior Lead Cast, of Year 9 and 10 students.
The Junior cast was led by Allegra Bradley, playing Charity, and Blake Hanks, as Oscar. This pair were energetic on stage, commanding the attention of every member of the audience with every piece of dialogue.
Allegra’s vocal prowess shone through the production, dominating every solo perfectly and highlighting her dedication to the theatre arts.
Allegra and Blake first performed on stage in Year 6, in the Cannonvale State School’s production of Aladdin, with Allegra as Jasmine and Blake as Aladdin. For both leads, this production sparked a passion for theatre and performing arts.
Allegra and Blake are joined with a host of other classmates, including Hayden Hudak as Herman, the dancer hall owner, Arwen Edwards-Bland and Ebony Crighton as Helene and Nickie, Charity’s two close friends, and Wiremu Tairaki as Daddy.
Wiremu’s Daddy is a titular character, the leader of the Rhythm of Life Church, and for Wiremu, Sweet Charity was his first musical.
The star said it was very surreal.
“I don’t always act like [my character] daily, but I feel like it’s good to harness this part of myself and let it out on stage,” he explains.
Proserpine State High School’s dedication to set design and characterisation is to be applauded, with Daddy’s car, a hippie-esque rainbow car, making only one appearance in the actual show, but being beautifully decorated and presented on stage.
This goes hand-in-hand with the 23-person orchestra, made up of students, teachers, and members of the wider community.
“To put together a live orchestra is something very special,” said Don McDermid, the School Principal.
Artistic director, Jenny Napier has been a part of Proserpine State High School’s musicals for years, helping students prepare for the productions in every way.
“The students have risen to the challenge and performed with the professionalism for which Proserpine State High School is renowned,” Jenny said.
This was an incredibly professional performance, and all students who were a part of the show, either backstage, with costuming, makeup, lighting, and music, or on the chorus should be incredibly proud of themselves for the fantastic production.