Islander at PIP Theatre

Islander at PIP Theatre


Posted 2022-11-20 by Marina Marangos follow

Thu 17 Nov 2022 - Sun 27 Nov 2022

Dreaming of a new life - here is how.Pip is a new theatre venue in the heart of Milton. It has a lovely terrace on which you can have a drink before the performance. The theatre itself is set up with the stage at its centre and seats surrounding it, which means that the actors are up close to those watching the performance.

Islander is a new musical currently playing at this venue. This was conceived by Amy Draper, based on the book by Stewart Melton with music and lyrics by Finn Andersen. The director is Connor Clarke, who was there to chat about how excited he was to have the production finally coming alive here in PIP. He had to wait for the play to finish its run in New York before being granted the rights to go ahead with it and it was with a great sense of urgency that he set out to put it all together in a short period of time.

The play, which is without an interval, is beautifully rendered by the two actors Ellie Dawson and Naimh Cadoo- Dagley. They start with a soulful melody - their voices filling the theatre with their harmonies. The stage is a simple and effective setting for a remote island of fishing nets and rubber boats.

Ellie is 16. She is a member of Queensland Theatre's Youth Ensemble for 2022. Her energy and performance is a delight to watch. The play lends itself to showing her strengths from a young person wanting, indeed yearning a new life across the water, to a deeply caring individual, to a pregnant woman about to deliver, to a dutiful granddaughter to a very tricky grandmother.

In fact, both women held us throughout the performance- Niamh, like Ellie, had numerous roles, broadcasting on Scottish Radio, grandmother to the exuberant and sometimes angry Eilidh and also as the new friend Aaran who Eilidh meets on the beach.

The island of Kinnan is a small remote island off the coast of Scotland with a declining population. Eilidh lives with her grandmother. Her mother has left her and there is anger there and a sense of abandonment. She feels the island's constraining boundaries. She comes across a beached whale and a while later a stranger washed onto the beach fascinates Eilidh, a shepherd of sorts to the whales and their interaction is engaging and warm. It is a story of human interaction, care for the environment and a good dose of folklore and fantasy.

The strength of this production is in these two performances which move so effectively from changing scenes and characters to beautiful melodies and musings. Humour is also a welcome part of this play which allows us to follow the destiny of a tiny gnome in a garden.

The play uses looping technology on stage which allows them to move the musical scores as the scenes unfold. If there was any criticism I would level at the production is that the background noise from the score, (a dum de dum) was very distracting and took away from the words spoken and the interaction between the two protagonists who were so nimble in displaying and performing their changing roles.

By contrast, the hum from the whale complemented the scenes and they ask - "Could they be singing to humans?" The answer comes as a cautionary warning to the environment- "They would tell us to stop doing what we are doing".

The play was first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and has gone on to be performed around the world to well-deserved acclaim.

The arts industry has had a very tough few years trying to survive the effects of the pandemic. Passion Productions is one such company, a local Brisbane producer that is mounting the Australian premiere of this new international musical.

Connor Clarke, Director of Islander, says "the world needs happiness, joy and wonder... we as a community need shows like Islander to remind us that life is full of magic. Everyone who hears the music falls in love instantly and I know Brisbane locals will love it too!"

Contact Details: Connor Clarke, 0422895103 or [email protected]

Islander the musical is only playing for a very limited season.
Go to this link to book your tickets here .

!date 17/11/2022 -- 27/11/2022
174988 - 2023-06-15 14:46:17


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