by Rebecca Clark (ROAR Student)
57 years after the Bee Gees arrived in Redcliffe, Redcliffe Musical Theatre Company has produced the World’s first community theatre production of Saturday Night Fever, a show that pays homage to the influence the band of brothers had to popular music of the 1970’s.
19-year-old Tony Manero is stuck in a dead end job and dysfunctional family. His only escape is with his friends on Friday night at the club 2001 Odyssey, where he rules the dance floor. Portrayed brilliantly by 19-year-old newcomer to musical theatre, Adam Goodall, Saturday Night Fever tells the story of Tony’s pursuit of a fabulous dancer, Stephanie Mangano (Michelle ‘Rebel’ Murenec) and his avoidance of Annette (Rebel Lyons), a girl infatuated with him. This tale ties in with that of his three friends Bobby C, Joey and Double Jay (Simon Chamberlain, Tony Ahchay and Stuart Boardman).
The high-energy dance sequences are marred only by a slight lack of energy throughout the ensemble cast. Each character comes equipped with a distinct personality and Brooklyn accent, which only occasionally let through the true Australian-ness of the cast. A simple but stylish set made it easy to follow where each scene took place, though sometimes it was hard to follow exactly how much time had taken place between each scene.
A compliment must go to featured dancers Brodie Jones and William Motunuu who lit up the stage with their dance sequence in Act 2, as well as their background dancing throughout.
Tony slowly comes to realise that unlike most girls he has known, Stephanie is different and cannot be treated simply as an object. Though one ought to support and like the main character of a story, Tony’s character came across as somewhat unlikeable, and more pitiable than agreeable. However one does see a better side of him at times, when he tries to help his friend Bobby C and begins to change his attitude to Stephanie at the end of the story.
“It’s like the world outside doesn't even exist. There is no past, no future, no regrets...” – Tony, reflecting on how he feels dancing at the 2001 Odyssey.
All in all, Redcliffe Musical Theatre’s production of Saturday Night Fever is a credit to the legend of the Bee Gees, and a credit to the work of Madeleine Johns, the director and president of RMT. Attending one of the performances of Saturday Night Fever was an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, and I look forward to the many upcoming shows produced by this amazing company.