Beyond Desire | Hayes Theatre Co and Neil Rutherford Productions

Beyond Desire | Hayes Theatre Co and Neil Rutherford ProductionsLeft – Nancye Hayes and Ross Hannaford. Cover – Blake Bowden and Ross Hannaford. Photos – Oliver Toth Accent Photography

It’s not every day that you are introduced to a new stage musical. On top of that, it isn’t easy to pull one off in a small theatre space. However, Hayes Theatre Co. does just that. Beyond Desire tells the story of a desperate young man searching for answers after he finds that his father was discovered dead in a London hotel. The stage is set for the year 1910, and the audience is whisked away to a time long forgotten. We flick through our newspaper/programmes before the lights dim.

The cast are absolutely stellar, starting with the young university graduate, Anthony (played by Blake Bowden). Bowden has an amazing booming voice and such a talent for the role. His face glows with passion for the father he loved and lost, and for the potential new loves he discovers. Anthony’s good friend James (played by Ross Hannaford) is invited to stay at his residence, 6 months after the death of Anthony’s father. Hannaford exudes the tender playfulness of his character, and provides a warm, comforting presence on the stage. The relationship between Anthony and James faces some interesting twists and turns as they search for the clues that will lead them to the truth.

Chloe Dallimore plays the mother, Louise, and is absolutely perfectly cast. Dallimore provides a stern vitality, floating across the stage in many a gorgeous gown, adding light and intrigue. Her two loves are represented in the former husband, and somewhat ghostly figure, Edward (played by Phillip Lowe), and newly-wed husband George (played by Tony Cogin). Both Lowe and Cogin are powerhouses, hypnotising in their own ways, evoking a virile strength.

It would be assumed that the maids and servants would have minor roles, however, in Beyond Desire, they really hold their own. Sydney (played by David Bulters) is sharp and poised, consistent in his attempts to win Emily over (Christy Sullivan). Playing a 19 year old maid, Sullivan effortlessly maintained a sweet charm with a very pretty, accented voice. However, none can outdo Ms Nancye Hayes (Martha), of whom the theatre is named after. Nancye is a superstar figure and really carries the musical from start to end. Her role as the very cheeky housekeeper is so gratifying that it put a cheesy grin on everyone in the audience.

Lastly, when it comes to the musicians, it is always so refreshing to put them where the audience can see them. They were flawless, including violin, cello, clarinet, horn, and harp. Led by Peter Rutherford on piano, the musical accompaniment set the tone perfectly for the era, the circumstance, and the drama that ensues.  

The staging, music, and story were engaging and stimulating. An exceptional cast and a thoroughly enjoyable performance. With the most important mention that book, lyrics, and direction are by Neil Rutherford and music by Kieran Drury. Hayes Theatre Co. really is an unstoppable force in Sydney’s modern theatre scene.

Neil Rutherford Productions in association with the Hayes Theatre Co present
Beyond Desire
Book and Lyrics by Neil Rutherford | Music by Kieran Drury

Director Neil Rutherford

Venue: Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Ave Potts Point
Dates: November 21 – December 14, 2014
Times: Tuesday - Saturday 7.30pm; Saturday 2.30pm; Sunday 3.00pm
Duration: 2hrs 45mins with interval
Tickets: Adult $55.00 (including booking fees)
Bookings: | 02 8065 7337

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