Worth Cheering About

Abbie Cook and Yazi Schellhorn star in Kirwan High's production of 'Bring it On!' IMAGE: Melissa Ballard

I’ve looked forward to Kirwan State High School’s production of Bring It On: The Musical since we first learned it was coming: Bring It On was one of the biggest film franchises going in my teen years, and some of my fondest school yard memories spring from taking part in four musicals during my own time at Kirwan High.

I am thrilled to report that Kirwan’s reputation for staging top notch theatre is in safe hands with this generation of cast and crew.

Bring it On: The Musical had the potential to be another shallow high school story, centered on popularity contests and finding self-worth in others; but Director Jamie Hunt, along with his cast and crew, have honed in on some beautiful underlying messages to pack this show with heart.

Madison Woodfield is outstanding as Campbell Davis, a cheer-obsessed high school senior who, after finally achieving her dream of Captaincy of her Cheer Squad, is forced to move schools and start anew. I’m hard-pressed to recall more than three scenes from the entire show that Madison isn’t in, yet she carried her stage presence and incredible voice with grace and composure from start to finish.

Yazi Schellhorn, who plays Danielle, and Kiara Clay as Eva, play their respective roles of enemy-turned-friend and friend-turned enemy to a tee. Yazi embodies the sweet-and-spicy elements of her character masterfully; and Kiara’s evolution throughout the show is both hilarious and horrifying.

Indeed, the lead cast continued to throw surprise after surprise, with big booming voices being revealed well into the second act. Abbie Cook and Sam Taylor left me particularly impressed by their musical numbers; while Callysta Morris, Chloe Foreman, Liva Ulugia and Brad Palmer were comedic stand-outs.

The 125-strong cast was a whopper; and I take my hat off to Vocal Director Suellen Onslow and Choreographers Emma Baynes, Kylie Tillack and Fiona Cochrane who would clearly have had their work cut-out for them and triumphed nonetheless. While the final dress rehearsal probably lacked the energy-kick that will come on opening night, there were certain members of the huge ensemble who shone and must be commended for switching into full gear a night early.

Some of the usual hiccups and pre-show jitters were evident, but I have no doubt that Jamie and his team will iron these out in time for curtains-up.

I hope every student involved in this production – on stage, back stage or otherwise – appreciates the relevance of this show’s underlying themes to their current life stage, because in 20 years it’s not the school yard that you’ll miss, but you will always smile when you remember this.

I wish the cast and crew the very best for a successful run, and highly recommend Bring It On: The Musical to anyone looking for a high energy, slightly edgy night at the theatre.

Kirwan State High School will perform Bring It On: The Musical at Townsville Civic Theatre 8 – 10 June 2017. Tickets are available at The TicketShop.

 

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