Matt Byrne Media
Touring the Arts / Shedley / Chaffey theatres - until July 31
Matt Byrne Media's Adelaide premiere of all shook opened at the Arts Theatre to an almost full house. However, design issues appear to have translated into technical problems which the cast may struggle to overcome throughout the run. The colourful cast worked hard to deliver the Elvis inspired musical, but sound levels, lighting and choreography standards have impacted on the production quality.
Byrne has placed a large band onstage, including a full brass section, and consequently has the microphones turned to feedback levels which still aren't enough to carry the lyrics to the back of the arts theatre. The loud band coupled with it's location presents a problem for some of the leads too, who often struggled to maintain key, likely due to not being able to hear themselves. Choreography was perfectly matched to period, but looked under rehearsed, several of the chorus members were still quite obviously looking to each other for the next movement in a routine, this will improve with more runs - but didn't look ready for opening night.
Costumes were great and the cast always looked good, but full set scene changes, of which there were a few, took too long, and more stage isolation was required to help scene transitions.
Standout performers were Rebecca Plummer as Lorraine and Gareth Wilkes as Dennis who both gave great characterisations and sang beautifully.
Maggie Wood was delightful as Sylvia and Dominic Hodges did very well as Dean. Matt Byrne's characterization of Sheriff Earl was also great comic relief. The show was full of old classic songs which everyone is sure to love including Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, Teddy Bear and of course All Shook Up. Despite it's lengthy duration, just short of 3 hours with interval, I think audiences will still really enjoy the fun of this show, and hopefully some of the issues will improve over the run.