Roleystone's Sweet Charity - Theatre Review

Roleystone's Sweet Charity - Theatre Review

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Posted 2023-09-18 by PerthKelfollow

Fri 15 Sep 2023 - Sat 23 Sep 2023

Sweet Charity follows the romantic trials and tribulations of Charity Hope Valentine, 'a girl who wanted to be loved'. Charity is a taxi dancer, a dance partner-for-hire at a seedy dance hall in New York City. The job may be decidedly undesirable, but Charity's hopeful romanticism and unfailing optimism lift her out of her circumstances and help her reach for a life beyond.

In the past, she's been strung along and hung out to dry by a series of bad relationships and lousier men. When she meets Oscar, a neurotic, shy actuary seemingly from another world, will she finally find the true love she desires?

The show was conceived, directed and choreographed by the iconic Bob Fosse, and features a hilarious script by Neil Simon (The Odd Couple, Plaza Suite) and music by Cy Coleman (City of Angels, Barnum).

Arianne Westcott-King as Charity Hope Valentine


Roleystone Theatre has again had to find another venue to perform in whilst their own venue awaits completion of its rebuild. The Armadale Town Hall seemed like a good fit for such a show, but the staging set-up, designed by Peter Pear Carr wasn't what I was expecting. The live orchestra - lead by Band Captain Krispin Maesalu - were set up on the actual stage, with all the action of the show on the floor, broken up by raised staging in the middle and two rotating stage boxes on each side. This set-up did have the advantage of allowing a large number of people to be on stage at any one time for the dancing numbers, but including the cast going past the bank was slightly off-putting to me.

Chloe Palliser took on double duty with the production, playing to roles of both director and choreographer. There were a couple of dance numbers that I thought fell a bit flat - I was waiting for something more from the dancers that never came, big songs call for big dances. I also found the white scrim projections behind the band distracting. Not sure if it was because I was at a matinee so the sun had a play in it - but what was being projected wasn't very clear and a couple of times I couldn't even really see what it was showing. And while I applaud using the entire space you have to work in, might be worth considering the necks of your audience members if you are going to have a scene play out in a balcony above and behind their heads.

On the whole, the singing was very good and in time with the band, but there were issues with microphones not being on and also found at times I couldn't hear the singing, either because the band was too loud, or through poor diction. Cortni Cooper and Jessica Reynolds did a wonderful job as Charity's friends Nickie and Helene. The Fandango Girls and the ensemble all worked very well together, and did a great job switching between their different characters, who knew Peter Pear Carr could tap dance!

Jason Nettle as Oscar Lindquist and Arianne Westcott-King as Charity Hope Valentine


Mentions must also be made to the other principal cast - Paul Treasure as Herman, Callum Presbury as Daddy Brubeck, Christian Dichera as Vittorio Vidal and Jordan D'Arcy as Ursula March who were all very convincing in their roles. Also must say well done to costume designer Oniesha Temby and her team, all the costumes were on point.

Sweet Charity is not a short show, so be prepared to be at Armadale Town Hall for a good three hours, yes there is an interval. You have the option of normal seating, or there are a few cabaret-style seats right at the front. Sweet Charity plays at the Armadale District Hall from 15-23 September. Ticket pricing $28 adult, $23 concession. Recommended for ages 16+, bookings can be made here.

Photos were taken and supplied by Curtain Call Creatives

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!date 15/09/2023 -- 23/09/2023
262745 - 2023-09-18 01:16:01

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