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Spirit Level - Review

Waipukurau Little Theatre presents…Spirit Level. A comedy by Pam Valentine and Directed by Lindsey Bishop. Review by Tasharla Parkinson and Year13 Drama Students.  Student Night 31st July 2022

From the moment you enter the theatre, your eyes feast on a quaint cottage setting that oozes charm and without a doubt, a little hint of money.

The clever placement of furniture and fixtures lends itself brilliantly to the drama and the way the plot plays out.

The lights go down and…The opening scene draws you in beautifully.

The simple white costuming choice for Susie and Jack stunningly contrast against the richness of the set. This clearly leaves the viewer with a strong understanding of the role of these two characters. They are deceased as a result of a boating accident and have returned as spirits, to haunt their previous dwelling.

As the story unfolds, the viewer is enticed into a tangle of hilarious antics as these two bored and mischievous spirits play havoc with not only the real estate agent, but also with the new and unexpecting young tenants who let their cottage, and by the way, they are not so ‘unexpecting’ as Flic and Simon ARE expecting a baby.

Meeting Simon’s fearless Mother-in -law, and then Jack and Susie’s Guardian Angel adds yet another level of great entertainment.

Madeleine Howard and Edward Carleton-Holmes present an amazing understanding of their roles as the deceased owners of the cottage. Not once did the audience doubt their spiritual existence. Physically they look great and work so well together on stage as if they had been married forever and their ghostly presence is super believable.

Ash McCormick and Brendan Leeuw are very convincing as the young married couple. The way they are able to work around the two spirit characters on stage is impressive. As hard as I tried, I did not once see them look directly at Susie or Jack. Ash portrays a very pregnant young woman with poise and conviction. Kudos to her.

Belly laughing moments as both Kylie Vanston (the fearless Mother in-law) and Helen Griffin (Guardian Angel) enter the scene. Both these women bring to life the idyllic understanding we have of these two characters and what great vision from Lindsay Bishop and team to costume them in a way that only highlighted this.

Chris Chambers brilliantly brought to life the typical Real estate agent who has too much information on hand that literally needs to be swept under the rug. I was so drawn into his presence and he was able to win the audience over with his geeky uncomfortable moments. I loved the Christmas tree scene.

Some comments passed by my fellow classmates were;
  • So clean and effortless, smooth running.
  • Set was very well done.
  • Really funny.
  • Set and back drop was beautiful.
  • The acting looked so natural…and I can’t believe some of the actors are fairly new to the stage.
  • Body composition was great, they really didn’t need costumes or props or anything, they acted with their bodies and it worked with the way they shared the stage.
  • Charismatic, entertaining, off the charts, outstanding, seamless.
  • I’d go again in a heartbeat.

A night well spent, away from our devices and an opportunity to gain an insight into Live Theatre and the work that goes into it.

A huge congratulations to Lindsey Bishop for his vision with Spirit Level and his clever direction.

Salutations to all the actors on stage. You are an inspiration to us all.

To the Support Crew, there are too many to mention but we know the show cannot go on without you. What a fantastic job you all did, from the technical aspects, the costumes and props to the front of house and production team.

I highly recommend a viewing. Once the word is out, bookings will go through the roof I expect. 

Spirit Level on stage at Waipukurau Little Theatre from August 5-19. Tickets available at Betta Electrical Waipukurau, Eventfinda or www.littletheatre.net.nz