The University Dramatic Society (UDS) totally transformed the Dolphin Theatre with their original comedy musical, Time Capsule. UDS presented a production full of energy, nostalgia, ‘high school peakers’, and an impressive dance off.
When Bridget Palmer is invited to her high school’s ten-year reunion, she realises she has done absolutely nothing with her life (a fear I know we all have). Throughout the show, she comes to understand who her true friends are whilst making many new ones along the way. The show asks important questions about what you should value most in life, expressing your individuality, the meaning of true friendships, and of course, the importance of punching a shark…in the face. In order to confront her former peers, Bridget tangles herself in a web of lies spanning through her career and her dating life, all at the expense of her best friend, Gina. Director Megan Rundle and Assistant Director Grace Armstrong have done an outstanding job in creating a show that the audience can impeccably relate to, while throwing in a bit of Degrassi: The Next Generation and a whole lot of laughter.
The entire cast brings a plethora of energy and talent to the stage.
Esha Jessy fit comfortably into her first lead role of Bridget Palmer, taking the audience on a very relatable journey through what our own ten-year reunion could look like. Jessy brought a consistent likability to the lead and did so with a fantastic and memorable voice to complement her performance.
Julia Schwab delivered an amazing performance as the shy best friend, Gina Madden, depicting a character who discovers and empowers herself to stand up. Schwab easily injected the charm and naivety so critical to the role, but her angelic voice was most definitely the peak of her performance.
The (final?) return of George Samios to UDS saw him fill out the role of Julian Anderson, who never seemed to grow out of his teenage angst. The subversion of the typical fairy-tale ending was a nice change and Samios managed to get us to feel things we didn’t think we could. Jeremy Hansen was easy to hate as the cocky Connor Reid and was winged by the ambitious Sherry Harte (played by Courtney Withers). Their onstage dynamic as the ‘it couple’ was very enjoyable to watch, and made you wonder just how many power couples are hanging onto the idea of their next high school reunion. Hansen brought out a new level of arrogance in his portrayal of the antagonist, backed with some solid vocals. Withers was a revelation as the overzealous yet well-meaning Sherry and provided a large portion of the laughs and charm of the musical.
The Rizzo-esque character of Ritz was well executed with sass by Jenny Guigayoma, whose voice stood out as one of the finest of the night. Her friend-slash-lackey, Sam, was played with an endless supply of charisma and charm by Nicholas Warrand. I am a very straight man but if I went to Dunaneen High School, Sam would have had me swinging more than Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball.
The score by Jackson Griggs was upbeat and memorable, encapsulating the tone and essence of the production perfectly. Walking out at both the interval and after the show, we found ourselves humming the tunes a bit more than we thought we would. A standout song was hard to pinpoint but Leave it All Behind is a sing-along masterpiece and it slaps – hard. The band was masterfully conducted by the ever-impressive Yarra Arnes. On top of it all lies the amazing choreography by Katherine Hooker. Everyone stepped in perfect time and the in-sync dance off had us eagerly wanting to get on stage and bust a move. Mrs Jolimont’s jump split was definitely a highlight.
Maxi Ford’s set design screamed mid 2000’s teen high school drama and went above and beyond, drawing on Wild Child vibes. The costuming by Eva Quattrini and Una Minello perfectly suited each character and added flare. We especially loved Sherry’s pink power suit!
We were truly honoured to be invited to Dunaneen’s ten-year reunion – although kind of scared for our own now! For all lovers of musical theatre, a good laugh or just solid teen drama, this one’s for you. Time Capsule was showing at the Dolphin Theatre until the 15th of May.
Five Succy awards out of five.
Words by Francesca De Nuccio and Daniel Litjens
Image courtesy of UDS