Review :: Graceland & Asleep on the Wind

June 18th 2013

Hidden away in the guts of Marrickville is the Sidetrack Theatre, home for the last two weeks to ‘Graceland’ & ‘Asleep on the Wind’.

These blissfully heartfelt Ellen Byron plays were taken on by director Jo-Anne Cahill of Operating Theatre, and featured the fresh-faced talent of Leigh Scully, Persia Blue and Michelle Collins (who you may have seen in the Australian cast of Jeanie Linder’s Menopause The Musical).

In ‘Graceland’, Byron takes the audience back to the colourful 80’s where Rooty (Persia Blue) and Bev (Michelle Collins), two die-hard Elvis Presley fanatics, waiting at the gates of Graceland. As the play unfolds their contrasting personalities & backgrounds are juxtaposed with their shared passion for ‘the King’.

Tom Bannerman’s set design acts as a creative metaphor for the glitz and glamour associated with the life of Elvis, and his elaborate home – Graceland –  with it’s grand opening the scene of Rooty and Bev’s encounter.

‘Asleep in the Wind’ sees a drastic change of scenery, as we travel back to Rooty’s youth. Here we meet Beau (Leigh Scully) a typical Southern young man whose drive to get out in the world contrasts an honest love for his younger sister. Scully and Blue convey this relationship naturally with an immediate chemistry arising as the second act begins.

An awesome selection of classic Elvis songs soundtracks the action, with every foot tapping along in the crowd. Truly genuine performances by all three members of the cast ensure that the constant sense of nostalgia complements the exploration of Rooty’s troubled relationships. 

Operating Theatre are an independent theatre company, founded in 2010 by Jo-Anne CahillRebecca Kypri-Inacio and Jodi Speight. The company launched with the musical theatre, cabaret  For The Love of Mic, spawning a sequel For The Love of Mic 2 in 2012. Their next offering will be ‘Musical Chairs’, coming up in the second half of 2013.

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