OPINION: Bravo to The Hatfields and McCoys
THE Civic Centre was packed over the weekend as large crowds turned out to watch the St Patrick’s College performances of its 2016 musical, The Hatfields and McCoys.
The musical was an absolute triumph and a credit to the school and the creative team behind it.
Performed by a tireless and talented cast, it was written by former student Andrew Last and brought together by directors Liz Last (Andrew’s mum), Sarah McGhee, Andrew Newton and Jacqueline Parr.
Hilarious, brilliant, and with a beautiful subtext containing multiple messages including equality, tolerance, love and loyalty, it was also rollicking good fun, sometimes downright naughty and definitely cheeky.
I laughed until I cried.
The songs were catchy and clever, and full of the same sophisticated humour as the spoken words, which meant many of the cheekier jokes sailed harmlessly above the heads of the younger audience members.
The kids clearly had a ball doing it and appeared relaxed and confident, even when the spotlight singled them out and they had to reach deep into their musical souls to achieve those high notes.
The Hatfields and McCoys was a hillbilly version of Romeo and Juliet, with nods to other Shakespearean plays and musical sensations.
Casting was spot on, with Anna Cartwright as Roseanna, the socially responsible daughter of lovable and prolific McCoy clan leader Randolph McCoy, played with relish by Riley Salter, and his wife (and cousin) Sally, played perfectly by Gemma Newton.
Jenna Galy nailed it as the despicable Devil Anse, leader of the Hatfields, and Braydan Gibbs was ridiculously tall and handsome as Devil’s sensitive, new-age son.
Between the trigger-happy Sheriff Lawson (who reminded me of some famous comedian I can’t quite put my finger on), the long-legged Randolph and the incredibly dumb Uncle Jim, Bill and Bud, the laughs were loud and often.
The three apocalyptic daughters were perfectly weird and poker-faced, and the chorus was mellifluous.
It’s impossible to mention everyone, though I wish I could. The play was immensely enjoyable and showcased the brilliance of Andrew Last, who managed to find a way to let the minor characters have their moment in the sun by acknowledging with hilarity the issues of being a minor character. Bravo yet again St Pat’s.