PACKED audiences laughed until they cried last weekend at the slick, successful, hilarious high school musical Henry, performed in the Gympie Civic Centre by a large and talented troupe from St Patrick's College.
Whoever was responsible for casting is an unsung genius, as the lead characters nailed their roles through some sizzling one-liners and outrageous physical comedy, including a very stern and put-upon Archbishop of Canterbury (Nicholas Rinehart) channelling Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory.
The five angry queens (Georgia Cross, Jasmine Colley, Sarah Moro, Jesse Jabore and Rhianna Robinson) and one deliciously vacant fiance (Beth McKenna) all clearly relished their roles, hamming it up and improvising at times to great effect: Catherine Below Par's knitting skills and random Pina Colada outburst just one of many highlights.
The German king and queen (Mitchell Granshaw and Brooke Tierney) were lusty and hilarious, Gretchen's passionate war cry still echoing in the heads of any who saw the show, I am sure.
Kudos, too, to the court jester (Patrick Connolly) and the divine royal hairdresser, Raymond (Aaron Bourke), who camped it up beautifully and brought the house down with his cheer-leading ship signals.
But the show was stolen by Henry himself (Patrick Last); someone Gympie will be claiming as a famous son one day, mark my words.
Patrick was simply exceptional. Handsome, funny, tireless and very naughty, he was still trying to pick up wives as the final curtain was ready to fall.
Under the masterful direction of Liz Last, Liz Lewis, Andrew Newton, Sarah McGhee and producer Clare Banks, Patrick made the role his own - and loved every minute of it.
The chorus, and indeed all the characters, were costumed and made up exquisitely. Again, they surprised the audience with some random displays of talent, like the young tap dancer who swept across the stage at various intervals.
With nods to Monty Python, Black Adder, Zoolander and even The Lord of the Rings, Henry was hailed by many in the audience as the best high school musical they had ever seen.