I went to the theatre last night for the first time in ages. Loved it. LOVED IT. Spring Awakening at the Sydney Theatre Company. It is based on Frank Wedekind’s controversial play of 1891 (babies, sex, gayness, masturbation, oh my!) and takes you on the turbulent ride of adolescence to adulthood. Young Wendla wants to know where babies come from, Moritz the sensitive soul has to deal with failure, and Melchior wrecks havoc whilst trying to understand convention, his free-thinking rationalism at odds with the world around him (just quietly, I now have a little crush on Andrew Hazzard who plays Melchior. Cute!).
It is moving and powerful, oscillating wildly between the energy of a rock musical and the touching emotion of the script. You can see that the cast of young performers have absolutely poured their souls into this production, from the rousing dance moves inthe ensemble pieces to the tears on the cheeks in the sombre moments.
I’m going to put it out there now and say my money is on Clare Bowen (who plays the female lead Wendla) to become the Next Big Thing out of Australia. The whole cast it brilliant, but she really stood out as a raw talent, both vocally and dramatically. She is a blonde bombshell in the same vein as Teresa Palmer, but with a quirkiness in her enormous blue eyes. I had tears rolling down my face from her tortured solo in the second act. Runner up goes to Angela Scundi, who plays Ilsa, for her incredible powerhouse voice.
This one is definitely worth the pesos. They have extended the season, so you have extra time to get down and see it. And remember, when Clare Bowen is huge, you heard it here first.
Tickets from: Sydney Theatre Company
Showing at: Sydney Theatre, Hickson Road Walsh Bay
Running until: March 7
Why you need to see it: To be uplifted, and crushed, and inspired and roused (and potentially aroused)
Picture credit: Spring Awakening facebook group; Clare @ the AFI Awards in December 2009