March 13, 2012

School Dance

School Dance
By Matthew Whittet
Windmill Theatre
in association with Adelaide Festival
The Space, Adelaide Festival Centre .
March 6. Tickets : $ 20 – $30
Bookings: BASS 131 246,
Until March 10.

The school dance is a big deal – and an ordeal – if you are not numbered among the anointed popular. Windmill’s captivating new work not only explores the status anxiety of teenagers, it takes them through a hole in the fabric of time to make things right. School nerds Matthew, Luke and Jonathan (Matthew Whittet, Luke Smiles and Jonathan Oxlade) join forces to stare down school bully Derek Sturges (the imposing bodybuilder Jim Rose) and Matthew even gets the girl (played, in multiple cameos, by the hilarious Amber McMahon.)

Whittet’s zany script features 80s pop culture and power ballads, mogwais, smurfs and my little pony. It is sharp, warmly funny, and touchingly well-observed. Tightly directed by Rosemary Myers, with inventive, off-beat design by Oxlade and great sounds from Smiles, Windmill has all bases covered. Open-hearted and quick on its feet, School Dance is a Festival hit.

Murray Bramwell

The Australian, Out and About (brief), Friday March 16, 2012.

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