Hoodwinked at Huon Valley Theatre
After months of learning lines, practicing dance routines and songs, the stage was finally set. Costumes were finished, sets painted, make-up applied, backstage all in position, as the audience took their seats for the opening of the latest Huon Valley Theatre production, Hoodwinked.
Hoodwinked is a retelling of the classic Robin Hood story, complete with a nasty sheriff, beautiful and smart Maid Marion, a band of merry men, greedy friars, poor townspeople, and of course the noble outlaw himself. The show is a bonanza of high drama, slapstick humour, witty dialogue, wonderfully choreographed choruses and an opportunity for every young person on stage to speak a line.
Robin Hood was brought to life by the appropriately named Fletcher Williams, ably supported by Bethany Jury as Maid Marion, and diabolically opposed by Samuel McGown as the sheriff with evil intentions. While all the leads had singing roles, Bethany in particular wowed the audience with her strong melodies and dignified stage presence.
Holly and Madeline Jury displayed sophisticated comic timing and pulled some great faces as the bumbling offsiders Twee and Dunkle. Isabel Burdick brought Friar Greed to life with her lively acting, and Jasmin Brown and Annwin Roberts were suitably selfish as the hypocritical Friars Guzzle and Nosh. And Zach Wills as the town crier demonstrated a booming voice that will undoubtedly win him larger roles in the future.
The entire cast inhabited their various, and sometimes changing roles with gusto and a great sense of fun. Clearly the director knows how to draw out the best from a young cast. Director Carl Lawton adapted the show from an original by Margaret Carpenter, keeping an emphasis on making it entertaining for all ages. Carl has had a long career which began with his training in Drama and English at University of Tasmania, continuing with his love of traditional pantomime while teaching and as a speech and drama consultant. He reintroduced productions for the children at Mt Nelson Primary School where he was Principal until retiring four years ago.
Music Director, Louella Jury and Choreographer Michelle Lawton have created a singing and dancing extravaganza in the tradition of the big time musicals. Set construction and design were simple but very effective. The painted scenery was outstanding thanks to the art team of Meta Forward, Geoff Merrick and Andrew Tyson.
Huon Valley Theatre Inc was founded in 1988 and over the years has earned a reputation for the high quality and professionalism of its productions.
The company is based at the Huonville Town Hall and has progressively improved the theatre infrastructure of the hall, which is now the best equipped for theatrical productions in the Huon Valley.
The Company is self-supporting, relying on community support of its activities for funding and talent. HVT encourages community involvement and uses local talent predominantly in its productions.
Though its main focus is on theatrical productions, HVT also involves itself in many other performance-related activities, such as variety nights, concerts, its talent show, “Huon Idyll”, and its Festival of Carols.
Huon Valley Theatre is keenly interested in providing opportunities for the talented youngsters in the Valley.
The Youth Apprentice Theatre was one such initiative, and HVT looks for productions that will involve kids and allow them to develop all aspects of stagecraft.
For more information about what’s coming up next at Huon Valley Theatre, check out their website http://www.huonvalleytheatre.com/