Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Saturday, 11 January 2014
Angelina Ballerina The Mousical, Jan 15, 2014 **1/2
Adapted by Miranda Larson
from Katharine Holabird’s books
Produced by Nick Brooke Ltd & BOS Productions Presented by Arts Centre Melbourne State Theatre, Arts Centre
Melbourne, Jan 15 to 19, 2014
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Jan 15 Stars: **1/2
Review also published in print in Herald Sun on Sunday Jan 19, 2014. KH
Sophie Summers, Tyler Scott, Katherine McNamara, Joanna Gregory, Darren Burkett, Miracle Chance, photo by Greer Versteeg
Ballerina The Mousical has a captive audience of pre-schoolers because it is
Holabird and Helen Craig’s hugely successful children’s books
and animated TV series.
However, despite having a couple of
entertaining chorus numbers and a simple message about the joys of collaboration,
this UK production is inconsistent in quality and the under-five target audience lost
focus intermittently, becoming wriggly and chatty.
very cutely called a “mousical’ because, well, what else would you call a show
with dancing and singing mice?
Angelina and her mousey friends live in the
village of Chipping Cheddar, attend the Camembert Academy (yes, lots of cheese
references), and win the opportunity to appear on their favourite TV show,
Dancing With Mice. Cute!
Angelina is nominated Dance Captain, but
realises that she can’t develop the choreography alone and that her team of
dancing mice must collaborate with each other to incorporate ideas from both
the boys and the girls.
mice finally make everyone’s dreams come true by merging boys’ and girls’ ideas
to create monster princesses and space fairy pirates.
The group numbers are the strongest and most
engaging for the children, especially Hey There Camembert and the
perky finale with its simple lyrics about sharing: “Together, together, we just
The six youthful performers,
led by Joanne
Gregory as Angelina,play the likeable characters with appealing cheerfulness, but they have
varying ability as dancers and singers.
Gregory, as the sweetie-pie Angelina, provides
the expected classical ballet elements in the choreography.
Gregory are Katharine McNamara as scatty Alice, Sophie Summers as Gracie who likes
sparkly things, Miracle Chance as Vikki who loves fairies, Darren Burke as
Marco who is obsessed with superheroes, and Tyler Scott as AJ, the Hip Hop kid.
Larson’s direction isunimaginative, with frequent and unnecessary movement of scenery, the
songs are unmemorable, lyrics often inaudible, choreography unexciting and
there was minimal interaction and participation for the tiny tots.
the target audience of 3 year olds will forgive the
bumpiness of this
production because of their adoration of their
animated dancing hero, Angelina.
By Kate Herbert
Angelina Ballerine books written by Katharine Holabird, illiustrated by Helen Craig
Summers Gracie likes sparkly things
McNamara Alice and Ms Mimi
Chance as Vikki loves fairies
Burke as Marco costume superhero boy
Scott as AJ Hip Hop
and writer Miranda Larson
Set and costume Isla Shaw
Angelina Ballerina The Mousical, Joanna Gregory, photo by Greer Versteeg