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Live Onstage! Festive shows by Phuket’s young talent

’Tis the season to be jolly! And to see theatre, because what could be more jolly? By the time this comes out, the performances mentioned will have been laid to rest, but I hope reading about them will spur you to make sure you get to see the shows next time around, and I’m sure you won’t have to wait a whole year.

Art
By Joel Adams

Sunday 30 December 2018, 02:00PM


I also hope that you were able to catch some of these shows. Both BISP and HeadStart put up some great plays this December. There is a lot of talent on this island.

I myself was very busy with a number of shows so was not able to see the BISP plays, Aladdin: A Musical performed by primary students and Snow White: a Pantomime from the secondary school. I heard from several happy audience members that they were side-splittingly funny. Thank you, BISP, you never fail to entertain us with great stuff! Readers, don’t miss their shows.

HeadStart’s Creative and Performing Arts Academy (CAPA) has been giving us quality theatre for the last four years, plays such as Ali Baba and the Bongo Bandits, Into the Woods, The Addams Family, The Amazing Adventures of Super Stan and now A Night at the Movies; all under the leadership of Ms Fabienne Beau. And the dance academy has performed wonderful dance recitals such as Chicago Stories and Charlie’s Angels.

An audience member said after watching A Night at the Movies, ‘I didn’t think the shows could get any better than last year’s, but they just did.’

Another audience member called the show ‘jaw dropping…’, ‘off the scale good,’ and went on to say, ‘I haven’t been that entertained in the vast majority of professional performances.’ So it looks like what Phuket lacks in quantity of shows, she makes up for in quality and amazing talent.

A Night at the Movies was an Oscar-style trip through great movies with scenes acted, sung, and danced from a wide variety of films, fantasy, dystopian, spy, sci-fi, action, thriller, comedy, musical, and drama. There truly was something for everyone, and we never knew what was coming at us next.

It was an evening of surprises: choral singing from Frozen; dances to Singin’ in the Rain, Star Wars, Hunger Games, and James Bond/Mission Impossible; songs from The Wizard of Oz, Wicked!, Blues Brothers, Grease, High School Musical, Mama Mia!, Sound of Music, Sing! and Holiday Inn; acted out scenes from Forrest Gump, The Godfather, Dead Poets’ Society and The Lord of the Rings, and a surprise finale, The Greatest Show.

You never knew who would pop up throughout the evening. Was that Forrest Gump on a bench talking to Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, then getting scared off by the witch? Now we’re in Don Corleone’s office from The Godfather. Are those really the Blues Brothers outside Matt’s wife’s diner? What are they doing here? And just like that, we’re in a prep school classroom with the inimical Mr Keating from Dead Poets’ Society, then another school for Grease and High School Musical. Soon we’re transported to Middle Earth and witness the beginning of Smeagol becoming Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. And you never know when a ghost from Ghostbusters might invade the stage and audience. And, OMG, are these kids really doing synchronised aerial acrobatics in the dance numbers?

Erika Cramp, the head of CAPA, said she was very, very proud to head this team and commented how thrilling it was to see how much the young people have grown in their singing, dancing, and acting, in their stage presence and overall performance skills in the last three and a half years of investment in their training. It was just very, very rewarding.

QSI International School Phuket

Some of the veteran performers answered some questions:

I asked Stella Thipsak (Thai/French singer and dancer) why she liked to perform, and she said, ‘The vibe in CAPA is really nice, like a big family.’

Nick Gold, (Thai/American actor, singer, dancer), when asked what was the easiest and hardest part of the show for him, answered, ‘I really enjoyed being the host of the show, because I could take on this whole new persona when I got out there in the spotlight. That part was easy while running around backstage, changing costumes, preparing to go from one scene to another was hard work.’

Luna Ducasse (French actor, singer, dancer) said, ‘I love singing, dancing, and acting, in short, everything about creative arts, and this show (A Night at the Movies) is special, because there are so many different things happening. It’s very interesting.’

There were a number of first-timers in the show, and this is what one of them, Maneekan Sonthayanawin, Nina for short, (Thai actor and dancer) had to say, ‘This is my first show. I play one of the Blues Brothers, and it was hard to play a boy, because I’m not a boy and I need to act manly, to not be shy. For people who have a hard time being extroverted, they should try CAPA or acting in any form, because it helps a lot and it’s loads of fun. For sure I’ll do this again next term.’

Having been with this show from the beginning, it’s hard to criticise anything, I loved it all, but I need to mention that, besides some incredible solo numbers from Nutcha Phaisamran, Juliana Mester, and Dasha Gorodtsova, and wonderful acting and dancing throughout the evening, two real delights for me were Lucy Mester’s wannabe star monologue (this girl has a true comic flare) and Vitalina Oshchepkova’s Gollum/Smeagol conversation with one side of her face made up as Smeagol and the other as Gollum. Creepy and impressive!

I could go on and on telling you about every scene, because they were all winners, but space does not allow. Talk to you next month.

In the meantime, The Play’s the Thing!


Joel Adams is building a vibrant theatre community right here in Phuket. You can contact him at theatrixphuket@gmail.com or by phone on 093 6490066. Facebook: Theatrix Group

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