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Carrie at Phoenix Theatre

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Musical version of Stephen King’s Carrie a real scream
Carrie, Stephen King, Dark Psychic Productions, Phoenix Theatre, musical, play, horror, performing arts, show
Olivia Rose plays the title role in the musical Carrie. Picture: Jarrad Sharman

Stephen King's classic novel Carrie is the latest horror-themed stage show to come from Dark Psychic Productions – and it's being brought to life as a musical. Directed by Ryan S. McNally at Phoenix Theatre, the story follows town misfit Carrie White, bullied by the popular crowd while remaining virtually invisible to everyone else.

At home, she is at the mercy of her over-protective and abusive mother – but Carrie soon discovers with her coming-of-age that she has telekinetic powers. So when humiliated by her classmates at the high school prom, she wreaks havoc on everyone and everything in her path.

"Adapting telekinetic abilities on stage is one of the biggest challenges the show faces," Ryan said. "Tricking the audience is a lot harder when you don't have a cutaway shot you can set up like in a film. We are really excited for the audience to see some of the ways we execute some of Carrie's powers.

"The show is very stylised with it all being told through memory – it's also very character-driven and my cast are really something else. Vocally, it's one of the hardest shows we've done and I'm lucky to have Krispin Maesalu on board as my musical director."

Carrie, Stephen King, Dark Psychic Productions, Phoenix Theatre, musical, play, horror, performing arts, show
Carrie (Olivia Rose) and her mother Margaret White (Cathy Woodhouse). Picture: Jarrad Sharman

Ryan said the songs in Carrie remain upbeat, considering the show's dark content. "I feel the writers Michael Gore on music and Dean Pitchford on lyrics have done a brilliant job in allowing the songs to really drive the narrative," he said.

"There are quite a few changes between the book, film and stage formats, mainly due to the logistics behind a few scenes. But the show is closer to the book than the movies."

Acting from age 13, Ryan created Dark Psychic Productions in 2012, producing numerous shows and showcases over the past five years with many staged at Phoenix Theatre.

"Carrie appealed because of the music," he said. "I tend to listen to soundtracks and, if the music is able to move me, it piques my interest and I then further investigate the show. I have always been a fan of the Carrie movies and the stage musical adaptation sat really well with me. "

Carrie, Stephen King, Dark Psychic Productions, Phoenix Theatre, musical, play, horror, performing arts, show
Olivia Rose is Carrie in a musical version of Stephen King's famous novel. Picture: Jarrad Sharman

Olivia Rose plays the title role of Carrie. "She is really a very sensitive girl," she said. "In my mind, all Carrie really wants is to belong and be part of normal high school life. But due to her upbringing and the morals and habits instilled in her, it's really difficult.

"The most significant thing with the role is the amount of energy that has to go into it. There's obviously a lot of intensity in Carrie but, as a person trying to channel that, it can be almost exhausting. There have been multiple portrayals of her over the years and there's a lot of pressure to do justice to the character."

Acting in at least one show a year from age seven, Olivia studied at John Curtin College of the Arts where she appeared in numerous shows, as well as The Addams Family with Dark Psychic Productions last year. "The characters in Carrie were a huge part of its appeal," she said "I love how complex each one is. There's so much to dig into and play with – and it's a lot of fun."

Carrie, Stephen King, Dark Psychic Productions, Phoenix Theatre, musical, play, horror, performing arts, show
Carrie features Daniel Kirkby as Billy Nolan, left, and Grace Chapple as Chris Hargensen. Picture: Chantal Wilson, Darkest Raven Designs

Carrie plays at 8pm October 6, 7, 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21 with a 2pm matinee October 15. Tickets are $25 adults, $22 concessions, plus transaction fees – book at Raffle and program sales will go to the Motor Neurone Disease Association of WA.

Please note: the show contains coarse language, sexual references, violence and haze and flashing light effects. Phoenix Theatre is located at 435 Carrington Street, Hamilton Hill, within the Hamilton Hill Memorial Hall.

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Why? A Stephen King story that's both a classic novel and film and now it’s on stage – but who would have thought to do it as a musical?
When: 8pm October 6, 7, 13, 14, 19, 20 & 21; 2pm October 15
Where: Phoenix Theatre, 435 Carrington Street, Hamilton Hill (within the Hamilton Hill Memorial Hall)
Cost: $25, $22 concession
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oh my this looks so cool!
by Emilie Jayne (score: 2|152) 293 days ago
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