Under the inspired direction of Kenney Ogilvie, the current production by Mosman Musical Society is the darkly satirical URINETOWN.
The Zenith Theatre has been transformed into a darkly menacing city, where a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets in a world wracked by ecological disaster. The citizens are required to use public amenities, all managed by a single malevolent company, the Urine Good Company (UGC) that avariciously profits, led by Caldwell Cladwell, by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. It is supported by a corrupt government and police force.
Amongst the struggling people, who have run out of patience, money and hope, our hero Bobby Strong, one of our valiant star crossed lovers, decides that he’s had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom! Does he survive? Can he make the town great again?
Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt WeillURINETOWN satirizes politics, capitalism, the legal system, bureaucracy, social irresponsibility, populism,and corporate mismanagement in a production very relevant to our current times
The show also gleefully cocks a snook at musicals like Chicago, West Side Story, The ThreepennyOpera, Anything Goes, Guys and Dolls, The Pyjama Game and Les Misérables, and the entire genre of the Broadway musical. It also includes allusions to traditional British panto and even classical ballet ( Ashton’s La Fille Mal Gardee ).
The excellent orchestra under the enthusiastic baton of musical director David Lang was hidden up the back and were in terrific form. There was a subterranean trickling sound as we took our seats …
Under Ogilvie’s assured, niftily paced direction there were fine performances from the entire ensemble who performed with great vigour and enthusiasm. Many of the performers played multiple roles.
Choreographically Lisa Sulieman carried out a splendid job with the movement of the cast as the performers tackled a range of different genres including jazz, ballet, contemporary dance, big Broadway showstoppers and allusions to Bob Fosse’s style.
Set design by Anthony Halpin, Malcolm Tuck and Kenney Ogilviewas mostly rather minimalist with sections easily flitting in and out to indicate the various locations. As we enter, the stage is dominated by various washing lines with stained items hung out to dry (all this is removed in the opening number).
The lighting by Rodney Bertram was atmospheric and effective with some wonderful special effects.
Our narrator, rather menacing and corrupt Officer Lockstock, was strongly played by Kyle Masson in fine voice.
Daniel O’Connell gave a tremendous performance as our hero, Bobby Strong, the plucky, handsome young workman stationed at Public Amenity no 9 as Assistant Custodian, working for Miss Pennywise, who becomes the protagonist of the show and a tragic romantic hero who starts a revolution, and falls in love with Hope Cladwell along the way .
The villain of the piece, Caldwell B. Cladwell, CEO and owner of the Urine Good Company, who whilst quite leonine and very distinguished looking is pompous, cold and evil was terrifically played by Duncan McDonald.
Rebecca Carter was splendid as Hope Cladwell, Cladwell’s rather too sweet naïve daughter, who is torn between her love for her father and for Bobby. Having just returned from the most expensive University in the World, she eventually defies her father and joins Bobby in the Revolution.
Petite, dark and sultry, fiery Julia Dance was a powerhouse Penelope Pennywise, the tough, indifferent warden of Public Amenity No.9. Penny-pinching and astute, she is a harsh figure of authority and seemingly lives to maintain order at the public bathrooms, but she hides a surprising secret. She has several show stopping numbers including It’s A Privilege to Pee and her segment in Why Did I Listen to That Man ? to name just two.
Irreverent Little Sally, with her soft toy rabbit ,who constantly questions both Lockstock and the play’s logic was wonderfully played by Emma Caldwell.
Pontus Aleryd was excellent as the obsequious, rather slimy and creepy Senator Fipp, a corrupt politician in Cladwell’s pocket.
This was a wonderful production of this irreverent, thought provoking, satirical musical.
Running time allow 2& ½ hours including interval.
Mosman Musical Society’s production of URINETOWN is playing the Zenith Theeatre, Chatswood until the 23rd September, 2017.
DIRECTOR Kenney Ogilvie MUSICAL DIRECTOR David Lang CHOREOGRAPHER Lisa Suleiman
Kyle Masson // Officer Lockstock Julia Dance // Penelope Pennywise Daniel O’Connell // Bobby Strong Emma Caldwell // Little Sally Rebecca Carter // Hope Cladwell Peter Adam // Old Man Strong/Josephine Strong Michael McNab-Kwiatek // Hot Blades Harry Hannah Barn // Little Becky Two-Shoes/Mrs. Millennium Duncan McDonald // Caldwell B. Cladwell Melody Duan // Mr. McQueen Pontus Aleryd // Senator Fipp Nib Brattoni // Officer Barrel Hayley Sherwood // Cladwell’s Secretary Julian Badman // Tiny Tom/Dr Billeaux Emily Haldane // Soupy Sue Mica Hartley // Robby The Stockfish Yasemin Tounjel // Billy Boy Bill Michelle Lorenz // Melly Miserable Pamela Allen // Debbie Downandout