Pelican Productions. Murray Performing Arts Centre. 19 Jan 2019
How do they do it?
Pelican Productions with their annual Theatre Camp manages to groom up hundreds of stage-struck Adelaide children and turn them into creditable, and often top-notch, performers.
Jen Frith and Kylie Green’s Pelican and Spotlight enterprise has been going for fifteen years and each year, ta-da, there’s a sensational professional concert turned out with not one but a series of casts ranging over two weekends of performances.
Lighting, costumes, sound, music, props, cues: it’s not exactly MGM's budget but it is pretty darned slick with masses of children of all ages finely honed into choral and choreographed routines. And, oh, the high energy.
The Greatest Show is a huge operation, a very long concert featuring scenes from Pippin, The Greatest Showman, Gypsy, Catch Me If You Can, Fame, Madagascar, Mean Girls, Cats, and Mama Mia!
Each show is expertly frocked up to suit and given the right backdrop and lighting. So it really is a cavalcade of best-ofs which gives myriad young hopefuls the training and a chance to shine in front of large audiences.
Behind the scenes is a massive team of tutors in voice and movement; some of the city’s best choreographers and costumiers.
On stage are the names of tomorrow.
On Saturday’s matinee, shimmering stars were Finn Green, Zoe Foskett, Emily Downing, Angelique Diko, Jasmine Huynh, Eve Green, Hayley Thomas, Maddie McNichol, Ella Spiniello, Lluka Wadey, Cooper Jones, Mitchell Zilm, and Katerina Angione. They are going places. They showed musical and stage maturity beyond their years. And they were not alone. There are so many vivid young singers and dancers in the mix that only the program could contain their names.
Three of them actually brought the house down - Lluka Wadey, Zoe Foskett, and Finn Green.
But, just looking at the dance ensembles and their precision and timing, their beautiful spirit and diversity, and just listening to some of the grand choral harmonies, one has to acknowledge Pelican as a really important foundation and forward-moving force for the arts in South Australia.
We must only hope our Festival State sustains an arts department, an arts budget, and an arts industry to nurture and employ them.
Please, Mr Marshall.
Where: Murray Performing Arts Centre, Westminster School, Marion