Review: Gutenberg! The Musical!

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GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! | Hellenic Club of WA | Until Nov 5th | ★ ★ ★ ★

Holland St Productions are back at it again with another musical comedy for their Perth fans showcasing the Western Australian premier of Gutenberg! The Musical!

Being the first established piece not created by the company itself, the musical romp fits like a glove with the already existing repertoire of Holland St. Satirical, flailing and spoofing all that is bad in theatre, actors and art.

If your tastes lie in the realm of A Very Potter Musical or Miranda Sings this is the kind of show for you. With limited set, props and costume the audience is engulfed by the pure presentation and grotesquely caricatured characters that derive from the contrived stench of budding musical theatre ‘professionals’ Doug (Andrew Baker) and Bud (Tyler Jacob Jones) and will leave you in hysterics.

Donning many hats the actors flit through characters and gags that go from cheesy, camp and mortifying. High in enthusiasm and joy in the playing on stage Baker and Jones brought large choices with entertaining results, only limited by their daring to perhaps not go even further.

The music (Joshua James Webb) accompanied thigh-slapping lyrical obtuseness and direction and choreography (Erin Hutchinson) kept linear with the theme of painstakingly low-brow vaudevillian expectations the public has come to scoff at when thinking of the arts, all delivered bitingly and scathingly in farcical delight.

Jones and Baker belt out many a goofy and loveable song be it ballad or musical anthem but vocally, lower notes were absorbed by the venues high ceilings and caused strain in the front row.

Microphones are worn but with the actors chops they really shouldn’t be necessary and actually became a technical hazard briefly, and the actors don’t need to depend on them for good execution.

While the lighting did make the boys eyes sparkle and look pretty the LED’s were very underused and kept us mostly in that presentational atmosphere when we could’ve have been transported just a little further, it left much to be desired in lighting design.

Overall the show is witty, entertaining and short. Your bums won’t be sore from sitting but rather from glute-clenching jokes and hat props that will send you to hell for laughing.

Gutenberg! The Musical! Can be seen at the Hellenic Club of WA, 75 Stirling Street, Perth WA on the 28th, 29th, 30th October and the 3rd, 4th, 5th of November 2016 at 8:00PM. Bookings at TryBooking.

Kyle J Kash

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