Toy Symphony by Michael Gow is the latest offering from Fortitude Valley Theater Ad Astra and it is a captivating performance.
Located next to the heart of Fortitude Valley, it’s the perfect place for a hassle-free night out at the theatre.
The three-week race Toy Symphony just started and it’s not to be missed.
Ad Astra: An intimate theatrical experience
Toy Symphony is an interesting piece of Australian theatre.
Written by Michael Gow who is best known for his famous play A way, Toy Symphony offers a different journey all together.
Presented by Ad Astra, Toy Symphony is performed in a space suitable for an audience of only 50 people.
It’s intimate and perfect for an engaging play like this.
Under the careful direction of director Michelle Carey, the show is meticulously adapted to this unique space.
The audience is immersed in the performance as they meet writer Roland Henning (Gregory Wilken).
Sometimes literally sitting next to the performers creates the perfect dynamic space for this work.
Engaging and Powerful
Performed with a cast of six, this dynamic cast unpacks the life of writer Roland Henning, ably played by Wilken.
Taking place in two separate acts, the performance explores Henning’s childhood through a therapy session.
Roland Henning suffers from writers block, with the help of his therapist he explores his life to try to fix himself.
Wilken perfectly brings the audience with him from moment to moment, bringing a strong emotional range to the role.
Alternating with his current life in the second act, he comes to terms with where his life has taken him.
The cast brings the writer’s sometimes heartbreaking and touching upbringing to life as he struggles to understand himself.
What’s real and what memories he helped build aren’t always clear, but the trauma of his past is.
Toy Symphony is not a simple game, but it is engaging and powerful.
Assisted by a solid and dynamic cast, the characters bring his story to life.
Toy Symphony has a dynamic distribution
Part of the call of Toy Symphony is its immersion in Australian history.
As we travel back to his childhood, we revisit the life of Henning growing up in Como, New South Whales.
His memories are rooted in his time at school.
They are brilliantly hosted by Bernadette Pryde, playing the role of her Grade 5 teacher, Mrs. Walkham.
Pryde is the epitome of the former middle-aged elementary school teacher.
From her perfectly styled hair to the glasses that hang around her neck on her floral dress, she looks the part.
But it’s his mannerisms, tone and voice that instantly bring audiences back to their childhood classroom.
She is a five-year-old teacher who you will remember busying herself with the overhead projector and handing out books.
But Wilken and Pryde are also perfectly supported by their four counterparts.
Sam Webb probably almost steals the show from everyone.
His ability to go from horny schoolboy to schoolyard bully, therapist and drug dealer is exceptional.
Each role is captivating from moment to moment.
It’s the same energy and skills that Caitlin Hill, Lachlan Stuart and Greg Scurr harness as they alternate between their roles.
Hill directs the first half of the performance as a therapist, deftly guiding the troubled writer back to his childhood.
Stuart deftly transitions from local lawyer to enthusiastic comedian seamlessly.
Greg Scurr alternating from a young German schoolboy to a tyrannical headmaster is as fun as it is terrifying.
Toy Symphony of Michael Gow is skilfully constructed by the actors of Ad Astra.
Tickets are available online HEREperformances run from April 21 to May 14.
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