Josephine Wants to Dance is a delightful gem of storytelling brought to life by the Monkey Baa Theatre Company. The tale of a kangaroo who breaks from the mob and chases her dream of dancing, was originally a book written by Jackie French. The leap from the pages to the stage appears effortless and none of the book’s charm is lost.
James Brown’s costume design is magnificent. The first half of the performance indulges your visual senses. The kangaroos in grey ugg boots have tails that seem to bounce on their own volition. The brolgas are beautiful with their white feathers and the lyrebirds sparkled with their glamourous getup. The cast did a wonderful job of changing from one costume to the next and although the second-half was less elaborate there was always a charm in the clothes.
The cast were all amazing. Many of them switching costumes and characters and back again in such short time frames I was amazed at their ability to remember who they were meant to be. Rebecca Hetherington as Josephine shone brightly as the little kangaroo with a big dream. It was the tiny almost unnoticed parts of her performance that made her so wonderful. The scratch of a tummy here, the flick of an ear there. It was a subtle and constant reminder that she was a kangaroo and for her to dance the ballet was a ridiculous dream.
Hayden Rodgers, Chloe Dallimore and Amanda Laing flawlessly stepped from brolgas to ballerinas or from lyerbirds to townsfolks. Their performances lit up the stage with humour and charisma that carried the narrative perfectly from beginning to end. Their professionalism and ability to become chameleons united them in this performance.
Josephine Wants to Dance is a joy for the intended audience of 4-9 year olds but don’t let that suggested age range hold you back. All ages will find satisfaction in this performance where each element is outstanding and it all comes together to create a must-see show.
monkey baa theatre company presents
Josephine Wants to Dance
Based on the book by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley | adapted by Eva Di Cesare, Sandra Eldridge and Tim McGarry
Director Jonathan Biggins
Venue: Glen Street Theatre | Cnr Glen Street & Blackbutts Road, Belrose, NSW
Dates: 2 – 5 May 2018