‘Firebringer’ – this is West Australian premiere of this 2016 American, sizzling stone-age comedy musical, when at the dawn of civilisation one bright idea changed everything. The book by Matt Lang, Nick Lang and Brian Holden was adapted into this musical comedy for StarKids, with the music and lyrics by Meredith Stepien and Mark Swiderski. Michigan born Meredith Stepien married another StarKid founder member, Brian Holden.
This cult-favourite musical comedy from StarKid Productions, ‘Firebringer’, with its ‘boom boom’ style of humour, can be seen at the Melville Theatre, on the corner of Canning Highway and Stock Road in Palmyra.
The 2-hour performances are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8.00 pm until 21st May, with a Sunday matinée at 2.00 pm May 15.
The theatre is now operating at 100% capacity, so come and have a lot of fun with Firebringer.
Show Warning: Contains a great deal of Strong Coarse Language and Adult Themes.
For tickets book at www.TAZTix.com.au.
The scene: Act 1 Ten thousand years ago. Act 2 Recent times
The set: Craig Griffen. To the side of the stage a waterfall amongst the rocks. With shelves and shelves of custom props, Craig said ‘it was the largest set I have ever designed’.
Set construction: Steven Correia used some good lateral thinking to create some special effects.
Lighting design and operation: Craig Griffen. The scenes relied upon the bright lighting changes rather than painted flats. The lighting strongly established and complemented the mood of the dances.
Sound designer and operation: Vlad Sturdy coped well, excellent. With head microphones / headsets and an orchestra in a confined space to balance, great work.
Production manager and Stage manager: Steven Correia. Huge cast with a great deal of action and everything went smoothly.
As Molag (Candice Preston) the omnipotent narrator being explains, this is an irreverent, hysterical and entirely historically inaccurate story of early humans discovering fire. At the dawn of humanity, one tribe of cavepeople survives the many trials of prehistoric life under the wise leadership of peacemaker, Jemilla (Cathy Woodhouse, a great voice) – a title earned when she stopped the Great Debate between Smelly-Balls (Jarvys McQueen-Mason – great voice) and Chorn (Alyssa Burton) breaking into a punch-up. Jemilla has taught her people to express themselves, rather than bashing each other’s heads with rocks and eating each other’s babies. The tribe then receives a blessing from their idol, known as the Almighty Duck, Ducker (Alex Banham).
However, Zazzalil (Lukas Perez, fabulous voice) is always trying to invent things to make life easier for herself – and stumbles upon the most important discovery in history. Molag reveals that the duck the tribe is worshiping is only one of the many ducks that Molag has captured and used to control the tribe.
You will meet the village comedian SCHWOOPSI (Brittany Isaia) and Tyblin (Genevieve Wilson) the girl whose duty it is to unnecessarily hold the sky up.
Zazzalil’s friend Keeri (Jessica Huysing) tells Jemilla in desperation to start eating squirrels. Zazzalil’s develops a new weapon to kill animals and tests it on Keeri. The group go searching for a mammoth and find SNARL (Micheal Carroll). Lightning hits spear and fire is born.
Could there be love in the air between Emberley (Erin Craddock) and Grunt (Lochlan Curtis)?
Clark (Kylana McIntosh), Ensemble (Verity Lux) and ensemble (Melody Castledine).
The main cavewoman hobbling around with the brown shroud surprised the audience with a stunning few bars of singing.
The Musical Direction was by Conductor Mathew Leak; his musicians were on Keys 1 – Joshua Hollander, Keys 2 – Stella Sawyer, Guitar / Bass – Tobias Findlay-Abel, Percussion – Zac Skelton, Drums – Ben Cromie. The orchestra was situated under the stage in the storage area for the flats, and yet they had split second musical effects. The instruments were perfectly balanced despite, the 15 actors stomping on the stage immediately above their heads.
The seventy costumes, from the curious to the ridiculous, were designed by Craig Griffen. His Head of Costumes was Alex Banham, and costume assistants Michelle Sharp, Stella Sawyer, Cathy Woodhouse, Genevieve Wilson.
With a well-respected multi award-winning director, some of the finest young voices in Perth, a great orchestra and musical director, experienced stand-up comedians and inventive colourful costumes, what more could I wish for? At the risk of losing a lot of friends, I thought the first Act was puerile rubbish. I love madcap humour, ‘Twisted’ being one of my favourites last year, but this script was terrible and the songs uninteresting. About ten audience members did not return after the interval. A friend told me she thought the first act was funny. Then, as though a miracle had taken place, the curtain went up on Act 2 and we had a completely new situation. There was a very funny script with clever inferences to global warming and life in places like North Korea – with the people being told their world will collapse if the regime is not strictly adhered to, good lyrics, then the wonderful cast – who I was genuinely so embarrassed for in the first Act having to deal with trite – had a chance to show their professional comedic styles, the singers with fabulous voices actually had something to get into. The props were novel and the costumes colourful and fun. It all boiled down to the script and storyline. Thank goodness for the bundle of talent that pulled the show out of the Doldrums.
Some may say that it is my age and that a fuddy-duddy like me should not even be allowed out at night. Perhaps the play should have a warning ‘Not suitable for seniors!’ Fair enough, it could be me, but I still saw the immense amount of talent in this production being wasted in the first half.
Director Craig, who only 4 years ago won 6 Finley Awards in one show including best director and best musical, had the cast at their funniest. The acting was inventive and the delivery cheeky. The language was foul but became part of the trendy story.
In the end I quite enjoyed the show. As Director Craig Griffen says, this brought back memories of the Flintstones. Loved the bizarre characters and left with a smile on my face.