‘Perfect World’ // Theatreroo

‘Perfect World’ was irreverent.

At times, the state of the world can feel like a satire that is writing itself. Theatreroo parodies these political and social farces and takes us on a journey back to September 11, and its ensuing political turmoil, all the way to the present day in our current “perfect world”.

Set to parodical tunes and satirical impersonations, the 60-minute show packed a punch. It relived modern history’s key moments with an earnest reminder of the fact that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Written by Clarry Evans and director Denny Lawrence, the score was tight and catchy, often juxtaposing slightly acerbic lyrics relating to war, death and famine with upbeat melodies. Direction in the humour from these ordinarily conflicting ideas was particularly effective in the choreography. A memorable moment of this in the show was a peppy number about Uncle Sam dropping bombs in Afghanistan which the cast performed with laid back, disco dance moves.

The set was primarily a simple empty stage with a table occasionally being utilised for a news bulletin and lighting was effective to mimic mood and place.

The talented and versatile ensemble cast consisting of Matt Newman, Fiona Buchanan, Tegan Braithwaite, Sandro Colarelli and Daniel Smerdon worked seamlessly to bring a range of characters to life. Under the musical direction of Sante D’Eltorre, their voices blended smoothly and created some beautiful harmonies. Smerdon and Newman also doubled as members of the band and transitioned with ease between their on-stage roles and the rest of the accomplished orchestra, sometimes even mid-musical number.

Despite being just 60 minutes long, the abundance of talent on stage was clear. Colarelli, was captivatingly exaggerated in his characterisation of the British Prime Ministers, Buchanan was sassy with excellent comedic timing, especially as the American dollar bill, and Smerdon showcased stunning baritone vocals.

The trio also portrayed various political characters throughout including George W Bush and Tony Blair to in response to the invasion of Afghanistan and Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson at 2021’s COP26 Glasgow UN Climate Conference. At times, the costuming to mimic the real-life character they were portraying could have been clearer to heighten the humour but overall the performances of various iconic politicians over the years were recognisable and had the audience laughing and grimacing in equal measures with memories of the figures’ most ridiculous moments.

Amidst the grimly hilarious satire, Newman’s song as a reflective soldier disillusioned after fighting in Afghanistan injected a new level of poignancy to the show. Newman’s performance was nuanced and heartfelt and provided some necessary variety to the show, preventing the satire from becoming predictable. Newman also treated the audience to a selection of rock classics after the show which was an added bonus to the afternoon of high-quality music.

Braithwaite as a young female activist with Greta Thunberg gusto also delivered a powerhouse performance, especially when letting out her frustrations of the careless governments watching as the world burns.

‘Perfect World’ was a necessary piece of theatre reflecting the reality of the world we live in. With hugely entertaining musical numbers, ‘Perfect World’ holds up a mirror in an engaging, funny and poignant way and leads audiences to question why the world is the way it is and, perhaps, what changes the audience may need to make upon leaving the theatre.

‘Perfect World’ played for three nights only. To stay up to date with Theatreroo’s upcoming productions, follow their Facebook page.

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