Pippin is the tale of a young man searching for meaning in his life – his “corner of the sky”. And while this young man happens to be a prince and the son of an emperor, he could easily be any young man at any time in history.
His journey involves forays into politics, war and family life and along the way he is tempted by the seven deadly sins.
The production is an exciting departure for the South Coast Choral and Arts Society in that it features complex choreography (Rebecca Kemp), expertly executed by a disciplined young cast.
The refreshingly simple set (John Williams, Robert Bell) is complemented by Jenny Penny’s dramatic lighting design – a perfect backdrop for the colourful and sophisticated costumes and makeup (Millie Doherty and Lynne McGrail). The orchestra, under Jacqui Maynard, are more than equal to the demanding and memorable score.
Perhaps less well-known to Australians than some of composer and lyricist Stephen Schwarz’s other works like Godspell and Wicked, many people will, be familiar with Corner of the Sky, a hit for artists as diverse as The Jackson Five, John Farnham, Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark.
First time director Robert Bell returns to the Victor Harbor Town Hall after his award-winning performance as Jesus in 2015’s highly successful production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
All performances are of uniformly high standard: The character of the Leading Player is (like that of the Emcee in Cabaret) pivotal in this show and Emily-Jo Davidson lights up the stage. Jack Doherty is perfectly cast as Pippin and carries the role with a charm and maturity which belies his age; Minnie Broad, as Catherine, delivers a nuanced handling of comedy without ever falling into superficiality.
Byron Godwin-Knott, as Pippin’s vacuous younger brother, is very funny and shares some deliciously inappropriate comic moments with his manipulative mother Fastrada (Kimberly Hollitt). As Pippin’s grandmother, Berthe, Kim Bell is a knock-out. Pippin is exciting, surprising, jam-packed full of toe-tapping tunes and utterly delightful.
Pippin The Musical shows at the Victor Harbor Town Hall from October 8-22.