Review: Pippin

Photo: Andre Moonen Photography

This somewhat unconventional musical offers catchy tunes, quirky jokes and brilliant choreography.

Director Gavin Leahy’s adaption of Pippin sheds light on the life of Pippin, son of medieval emperor Charlemagne around the 800s, as he searches for his place in the world.

A naïve and self-centred young man, Pippin seeks fulfilment in study, war, sex, sedition and despotism before settling for life with a wealthy widow.

Pippin experiences military glory, political power and sensual temptation but eventually dismisses promiscuous passion, art and religion, and gives up on social equality.

The necessarily sparse production relies on a talented cast and bright colourful costumes. Leading actor Rory Chatterton’s Pippin is a confused and anxious character, constantly being nudged around by the elegant yet seductive ‘Leading Player’ (Emma Paull).

But it is without doubt the eccentric voice of Garth Saville playing Pippin’s father that will win the hearts of audiences as his voice booms through the theatre, hitting each note perfectly.

Choreographer Kira Nelson has skilfully produced dance numbers that are both lively and humorous as they tell the story of sex, war and revolution. From duets to synchronised battle scenes each dance explores the emotions of the characters in spectacular performances.

The music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (book by Roger O Hirson) are guaranteed to please with catchy beats and hilarious lyrics in songs such as “Corner of the Sky” and “Morning Glow”.

Failing only in their uncoordinated final bows, the cast wowed the audience to tears through each joke and song. Pippin the musical is a great way to spend a night.


Pippin the Musical

Sutherland Memorial School of Arts, East Parade, Sutherland

 From  June 15 to 24 : Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 8pm;   Sat and Sun 2pm

Tickets: $30 / $25 concession


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