|Happy as Larry | Shaun Parker & Company|
|Written by Sarah Green|
|Tuesday, 16 February 2010 18:20|
Photos - Prudence Upton
Happy as Larry is brilliantly choreographed, flawlessly and joyously performed and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. I literally sat on the edge of my seat (we were on the upstairs section so occasionally I was forced to peer over the balcony) the entire performance.
Shaun Parker based Happy as Larry around the nine personality types found in the Enneagram – a modern system of categorising personalities – and looked at how each personality inhabited the idea of happiness. The nine characters – Miranda Wheen, Lee Wilson, Harriet Ritchie, Marnie Palomares, Josh Mu, Ghenoa Gela, Matt Cornell and Dean Cross – were hand-picked from across Australia to perform in this piece. They were all outstanding but for me the strongest dancers were Dean Cross, Paul White and Marnie Palomares. Paul White’s solo in particular had emotional depth and was flawlessly executed.
I enjoyed the theme of happiness and there were many moments during the performance that I found myself smiling. Nudity, balloons, rollerskates and chalk fights are a winning comic combination. The interaction between cast members was natural and there was good variety between solo acts and group dancing with a range of styles from ballet to hip-hop.
The set was simple and effective – a revolving rectangular box that served as a chalkboard, wall and backdrop. Paul White was something of a narrator, communicating with the audience via chalk sketches, turning the music on and off and making sure all the dancers were covered in coloured chalk by the end of the show.
Happy as Larry was fun to watch, full of surprises and with little pretensions. Shaun Parker is certainly someone to watch – I think we’ll be seeing more from this talented Australian choreographer.
Perth International Arts Festival, Sydney Festival, Adelaide Festival and Brisbane Festival present
Happy as Larry
Shaun Parker & Company
Venue: Playhouse Theatre
Dates: 13 - 15 Feb, 2010
Duration: 1hr 15min No Interval
Tickets: $42.50 - $21.50
Please note: Latecomers cannot be admitted
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