Theatre 8’s cabaret extravaganza

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
The show will feature full cast performances, right down to solo pieces.
Camera IconThe show will feature full cast performances, right down to solo pieces. Credit: Edward Scown,

Theatre 8 is back in force but it’s not local theatre as you know it.

Doing away with the classic story-driven plays with gallant knights or sassy stewardesses, a 10-piece cabaret troupe is presenting “Showbiz”.

The two-hour show features tunes from popular musicals such as Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and The Greatest Showman — as well as pieces from Elton John and Sammy Davis Jr.

“Last year we did Grease, Hairspray, all the iconic movie musicals, which was awesome. This one here is all about popular musical theatre,” performer Sheldon Long said.

If you’ve never been to a cabaret before, it’s a collection of theatrical musical performances. It doesn’t follow a storyline and can involve a lot of audience interaction.

Theatre 8’s first piece starts with performers in among the crowd.

“It’s all done right with the audience, we try to come down off the stage as much as we can,” director Doreen Howells said. “The lights are up, so they can see the audience, which makes it more friendly, and they can join in. If you sit in the front row, you’re going to be getting interactions.”

Due to a series of personal dramas, the group has only had two months to rehearse the 29 songs they will be performing across the last three weekends of November.

From group numbers with complex choreography to solo pieces, they’ve all had to be worked out in a short space of time. Of the amateur performers, director Howells said simply “They’re not bad.” She seems a bit tough to please. From what I saw at rehearsal, the average punter is sure to find a superb performance of one of their favourites.

The shows begin on November 12 and run every Friday and Saturday night, with an afternoon performance on Nov 21. Tickets are available through the Theatre 8 Facebook page.

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