‘Heroes’ is a fascinating play, or could it be described as a trilogy? Written by Derbyshire (UK) born and bred writer, actor and teacher, Eleanor Mallinson who is still in her thirties so very much in touch with the youngsters of today. This play would be enjoyed by children from the age of 8 to 80. This full-length play is produced and performed by the juniors of Darlington Theatre Players, the Marloo Youth Theatre (MYTh). Being a youth group, the ages range from under ten years to a couple of 17 and 18-year-olds. Every aspect of the show from lighting, sound, stage management is by the youth troupe.
The shows can be seen at The Marloo Theatre, on Marloo Road just off Greenmount Hill in Mundaring. The season runs from 11th to the 26th February. The curtain goes up on this two-hours show at 7.30 pm.
Set design: Luke and Shelly Miller
Set construction: The stage was the pages of an open book, with the base of the spine and the open pages spread along the full width of the stage apron. The pages were 60 cms high.
The effect was of the stories growing out of the novel.
Construction team: were Luke Miller, Shelly Miller, Taneal Thompson, Steve Moloney, Amanda Moloney, Zac Moloney, Skye Lyons, Zoe Carr, Bec Carr, Brett Carr, Amanda Swadling and Amanda Jones.
Scenic artwork: including a stout oak tree, a dragon, a wishing well were the work of Molly Gilchrist.
Lighting design: Shelly Miller aided Bailey Fellows in learning the ropes.
Lighting operators: Timothy Zuiddam (Year 11) and his trainee assistants Sarah Zuiddam and Zac Moloney.
Sound designer and operator: Jonathan Bigelow still in Year 9, was advised by Guy Jackson.
Stage manager: Caitlyn Moloney, at only 15, ran the stage like clockwork. Scene changes were instant and silent. Particularly good.
Properties: Lesley Sutton, Shelly Miller, Steve Moloney, Amanda Moloney and Zac Moloney.
Regular teenager, Jamie (Keaton Humphreys) discovers that his girlfriend Megan (Lilly Miller) is in Intensive care under the watchful eye of oncologist, Doctor Harris (Bailey O’Hehir). To cheer Megan up, Jamie starts creating fairy-tales, and with the encouragement of his Mum (Sarah Zuiddam) Jamie is trying to produce a new tale each day.
At school next day, Jamie’s teacher (Jade Netherway) announces there is a National story writing competition with a big prize, but should Jamie try for it?
Jamie’s first story is a Medieval Tale, about an aging Queen (Mia Carpenter) who, on the advice of Sir Leofrick Gallantly (Beau van der Beeke) her Head of Court, has decided to pass the crown to her daughter, Princess Maerwynn (Maddie Lyons).
As the minstrel, Joaquin the Bard (Felix Steinwandel) entertains the Royalists, Kalinya a Witch (Zoë Carr) and her destructive Goblins (Rhona Hough and Austin Greene) arrive to steal the throne. Squire Cassius (Tory Hounsham) is helpless in protecting the Queen.
Jamie writes other magical characters into the story, such as the Woman in the Well (Ingrid Petersohn) and the friendly dragon (operators Zac Moloney, Georgia Stidwell)
For a light interval break, an ancient Silent Movie was shown. Through the tramlines and dust on the film we could see the damsel in distress, Sarah (Ellie Jones) being molested by moustached villain Paul (Zac Moloney). Heroine Angela (Sienna Stidwell) seeks the help of Police Captain (Jonathan Bigelow) and his Keystone Cops (Caitlyn Moloney, Levi Guest, Sarah Zuiddam).
When a frail Granny (Hannah Swadling) is crossing the street and is hassled, Superhero, Captain Awesome (Levi Guest) arrives to rescue her. Before long news reporter, Laney Lewis (Maya Boeser) is on the scene interviewing Awesome’s punk sidekick, Cobweb Kid (William Swadling). When a mad scientist, Doctor Notorious (Felix Steinwandel) plots and schemes the beautiful siren in scarlet, Farah Fatale (Georgia Stidwell) joins his manic team.
Megan asks Jamie for a cowboy story. He makes the hero an Annie Oakley style female cowgirl, Casey Jo (Chloé van der Beeke) who lives in a town with friendly locals Margie (Jade Netherway), Nelly (Rose O’Brien), Lucy (Ellie Jones), Luke (Tory Hounsham) and Buck (Harley Milotic).
One day, into town rides the murdering thug, Blackhat Bob (Tyler Ward), along with his thugs, Snakebreath (Holly O’Brien) and Digger (Hannah Swadling) shooting everything in sight.
The barman (Jay Thompson) and his customers Nina (Maddie Lyons), Louella (Maya Mars) and Winston (Ingrid Petersohn) flee.
Will the wild west town get back to normal?
Will Megan get better?
The silent movie was exceptionally funny, superbly filmed and edited. A real treasure.
Director Taneal Thompson, like the writer, is a teacher, as are most of the other FIVE directors and assistant directors. Fantastic work from Luke Miller, Shelly Miller, Sophie David, Guy Jackson and Rachel Vonk; with Rachel and Sophie being in charge of choreography.
Chris McRae composed the music for wandering minstrel, Joaquin who lit the theatre up with his warmth.
Evelyn Grummett’s delightful projection photos and 1920s artworks were projected into a picture frame that filled the rear wall.
Fantastic costume design by Marjorie Decaux, who was helped by her sewing team of Lynda Stubbs, Tracy Vonk, Skye Lyons, Nyari Greene, Amanda Swadling and Amanda Jones
All youngsters with acting ambitions should see this production and become aware of what is really expected of them, and that despite being young the best is still achievable. Without exception every actor knew their lines, had strong delivery, great chemistry with full facial expressions. Not once did I spot any of the common faults of youngsters, looking for their parents in the audience, standing with their arms and hands like a clock stuck at 7.25 as they deliver their lines.
Adults are taught to get the character right, by first capturing the walk. Here we had striding Awesome (Levi), shuffling granny (Hannah), Baird the minstrel (Felix) but let us not forget the light-footed police on the silent movie. Terrific.
There are many adult theatre groups that would worry by the remarkably high standard set by this fabulous bunch of youngsters. Highly recommended.