Oct 25 2016

The play held not just me mesmerised...

I’m not usually a fan of musicals, in fact, I’m sure I’ve walked out of at least one in my theatre-going life. But I was enthralled from the moment the lights came on and the curtain went up for Billy Elliot, ASB Waterfront Theatre’s opening production.  The play held not just me mesmerised. From the little girl and her mother on my right to the elderly couple on my left, and every head I could see within my field of vision, we had our eyes glued to the stage. We were oohing and aahing at key moments, clapping and laughing and, I swear, even singing along sometimes. What wasn’t to enjoy. Dancing, yes that was superb, acting faultless, stage design perfect, characters and script wonderful. But the piece de resistance had to be the music. Sitting right at the back of the stage, we really only saw the musicians when the lights were on full, however their presence, their amazing energy and passionate performance was not for one moment absent. There was also an incredible generosity to this show, nearly three hours long with a brief interval to refuel ourselves, it created a sense that we were in this thing called ‘theatre’ together. Not just the beautiful physical container that’s been created for us on the waterfront but the feeling that this was a show being brought alive by the performers with us. I guess that’s the magic of theatre.

Written by Shonagh Lindsay, Senior Communication & Marketing Advisor of Panuku Development Auckland.