‘Hair’ // Gold Coast Little Theatre

‘Hair’, a musical written by Germone Ragni & James Rado, and brought to life at Gold Coast Little Theatre by director Amy-Louise Anderson and Kim Reynolds, transports you from 2024 back to 1967. Set against New York City amid the Vietnam War, a group of young hippies fight against the societal pressures and demands they go to war, and live life how they want to live it; peaceful. 

Following Claude, Berger, Sheila, and their gang of friends, the hippies welcome the Age of Aquarius and resist the draft, until Claude receives his draft notice and nothing is easy anymore. Faced with the tough decision to bow to societal pressures and fight in the war, or stay with his friends and resist the violence in the name of peace, ‘Hair’ tackles issues including societal pressures, civil disobedience, alienation and defiance by the youth, all of which are still present in today’s day and age. 

The cast of this show was incredible, very clearly a tight family. The closeness and comfortability of the actors with one another was shown through their characters, who were very touchy-feely with each other, and the authenticity was obvious and enjoyable. Combining comedy and seriousness, the cast brought lots of enjoyment to the audience, especially to those who got up close and personal with cast members when they traipsed into the audience. 

While everyone has a voice in this show, the cast was led by Flynn Anderson (Claude), Ezekiel Whitecross (Berger), Bella Jannsen (Sheila), Jake Cropley (Woof), and Matthew McKenzie (Hud). Anderson’s and McKenzie’s singing was incredible, and Jannsen’s dancing was flawless and beautiful to watch. As for Cropley and Whitecross, they had the audience in stitches with their comedic acting, absolutely incredible. 

Rounding out the cast were Samantha Price (Dionne), Chelsea Jamieson (Jeanie), Ash Van Lits (Crissy), Mitchell Nelson (Margaret Mead), Johnny Lawler (Hubert), Hayley Green (Mary), Angelique Giuffre (Dianne), Jamie Catherwood (Suzannah), Ethan Cook (Peter), Andrew Kassab (Steve), Jam Marshall (Linda), Jasper Jacovou-Johnson (Paul), Dean Bradley (Walter), Tabitha Woods (Marjorie), and Alyssa Brixley (Natalie), all of whom made this show even more entertaining with their incredible dancing and singing. 

Speaking of, the choreography, by Kim Reynolds, and vocals, by Stephanie Gowland was fantastic. The voices of the actors all meshed so well, and their dancing was so flowy and smooth, very well linked to the mindset of hippies, who seem to have a casual flow about them. 

Set design by Kim Reynolds, Amy-Louise Anderson and Sean Curran, and set construction by Sean Curran, Lawrie Esmond, Lyle Stevenson, Andrew Kassab, Johnny Lawler and Kim Reynolds was phenomenal. The stage was beautifully designed as a New York City park, the exact place of anti-establishment activity. Lighting design by Stuart Morgan and Kim Reynolds, operated by Stuart Morgan, Ricky Moss, Hunter Wall, Amy-Louise Anderson and Kim Reynolds really brought to life the set even more. 

The costumes and hair were amazing, very colourful and set the era for the audience, who were very out of place in their 21st century suits and dresses!

Shoutout to the stage manager, Diana Morgan, the crew, Del Haphin, Jeffery Walker, Kathryn Henderson, Tarek Ellen, Tex Houston and Nicole Rozen, the show couldn’t have run as smooth as it did with all the obvious hard work backstage herding the cast and ensuring they were out on stage on time with whatever they needed. Another shoutout to the Intimacy Director, Cindy Ambridge. With ‘Hair’ being such a sexually-charged and intimate show, Ambridge clearly created good direction and a safe environment for the actors to feel comfortable enough being so intimate on stage. 

While the show was fantastic overall, there were moments when the sound didn’t hit quite right. At times some performer’s microphones were so loud that audiences couldn’t hear others, and other times when the microphones cut out and the person speaking could hardly be heard. This detracted from the show. Moreover, while it was lovely that GCLT gave an Acknowledgement of Country before the start of the show, the actress who presented the acknowledgement played the pregnant character, and having her come out pre-show lessened the impact of her later appearance on stage and the announcement of her pregnancy.

Overall, a very fun show, fantastic acting, singing and dancing, and incredible comedy, especially from Berger, who, quite frankly, stole the show. This show is worth a watch, and you do not want to miss it.

‘Hair’ is playing at Gold Coast Little Theatre until July 20th, 2024. For more information, visit their website.

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