Adelaide Fringe 2013
In a theatrical rendition of the 1985 cult classic, The Breakfast Club, six budding young secondary school drama students give it all they’ve got in their remake of the movie! What sets their adaptation of Hughes’ screenplay apart from the rest are the multitude of theatre styles and movement sequences experimented with to give a new perspective to the classic. The storyline follows five stereotypical teenagers, each from a different “clique” spending their Saturday in detention together. They eventually come to the realisation that they are deeper than their high school labels. Transporting the American setting into an Australia context reminds us that these high school stereotypes are universal and that the family home is different for everyone.
Set in Harry’s Bar on Grenfell St, Little Red Productions recreate a typical detention-classroom. Not much is there in terms of a set despite a few bookshelves, desks and chairs and free standing door. However, the simplicity of the set allowed for the audience to focus in on the young actors to see their skills shine.
It is immediately evident that these six actors are all very committed and highly energetic.
Matthew Farrand (Principal Vernon) is stern and sharp with good characterisation. At times, his voice was a bit too quiet but did well to carry the strong archetype.
Dora Abraham (Brianna) delivers a solid performance as the “nerd” of the group and clearly has good stage presence, use of space and strong voice.
Caitlyn Pudney (Claire) showed good mimicking and gesture skills in the “princess-like” attributes of some young teenage girls. Very good physicality and voice.
Sophia Webb (Allison) does a great job in her role as the “basket case.” Despite her character not saying much in the first part of the show, Webb’s characterisation, attention to detail and subtle moves draw us in while we wait for Allison to finally speak! When she does – her monologue is well delivered.
Angus Giles (Andrew) as the “athlete” and Patrick Livesey (Bender) as the “criminal” were the stand outs. They both held their characters with conviction and the conflict between the two characters was strong. Livesey’s monologue as he retells his life at home was great and Giles delivered a solid performance throughout.
Throughout the play are moments of choreography, mime and other theatrical elements. While some were very captivating, such as the ripping up of their labels and the running sequence, others felt out of place and unsuccessful. However, it was interesting to see young actors explore the realms of laban, mime, dance and gestus.
Overall, credit must be given to director Jamie Hibbert, who has worked tirelessly over the past nine months supporting her cast and with a few more years of theatre training under their belts, this cast of six will perhaps be Adelaide’s next success story!