Left – Eddie Perfect. Photo – billiejeanisnotmylover
Shane Warne – The Musical has received a few careful nips and tucks before returning to the stage at this year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Much of the original 2007 production remains the same, but the show now features the more recent Hurley era, new orchestrations by Iain Grandage and a stellar cast.
Beyond the main narrative that follows Warne’s rise to notoriety, a satirical insight into the sporting industry shows that there is as much spin on the field as there is in the boardroom.
Eddie Perfect’s creation exudes hilarity. There is a delicious balance of witty social commentary, crass humour and pathos. The musical score alone is very funny, with a mix of Bollywood, pop and counterpoint. “My Name is John”, sung by Jolyon James was an unexpected crowd pleaser.
The show’s portrayal of Warne is surprisingly kind. Perfect embodies the antihero and the ordinary bloke blinded by the limelight, but it becomes too easy to feel sympathetic towards him. The character should be more divisive, the audience either strongly relating to or loathing him.
From Lisa McCune to Shane Jacobson, the cast is simply fantastic. Christie Whelan Browne is definitely a standout, gaining most laughs as Elizabeth Hurley.
The occasional havoc caused by opening night gremlins could be forgiven, as the show definitely does not ride complacently atop the star-studded cast. There are too many delightful components – the clever cricket pitch inspired lighting, the corny choreography, the lush new arrangements.
It is very easy to be bowled over by Shane Warne – The Musical. It will undoubtedly continue to attract sports nuts to the theatre and theatregoers to the cricket pitch.
Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Shane Warne – The Musical
Music, Lyrics and Book by Eddie Perfect
Venue: Her Majesty's Theatre (Grote Street)
Dates: 5 – 9 Jun 2013
Duration: 2hrs 10mins (incl interval)
Tickets: $79.90 – $34.95
Bookings: 131 246 | bass.net.au