Quick Change Review: A Chorus Line (Curve)
I take my hat off to Curve. They sure know how to put on a show.
In 1975 New York City, we meet 17 performers as they embark on the most brutal audition of their careers.
The group of 20-30 somethings are forced by director, Zach (Adam Cooper) to not only dance for their life, but to dance their life’s story.
Forced to turn and face their childhood traumas, youthful angst, and their doubtful futures as they catapult towards a performer’s feared years; this oddball group of misfits and wannabes find solace in each other’s tales, woes and worries.
From the very first step to the last bows, this production of A Chorus Line is a class-act.
To start, the performers introduce themselves and their basic narrative as though talking to Saturday night talent TV hosts to secure their place at bootcamp. They hide their insecurities as narcissism.
Whether it’s the sweltering spotlights, the bellowing direction, or the vastness of the sparse audition room, each starts to reveal more.
Their songs range from declaring heartfelt nostalgia for the ballet - with Beth Hinton-Lever, Emily Barnett-Salter and Charlotte Scott joining forces as a powerful trio - to embarking on dizzying whistle-stop trips down memory lane to reflect on embarrassing adolescence.
Comedic threads pull with ease throughout. Each member of the ensemble cast presents a truly unique character you find yourself rooting for. There’s a little bit of us in them.
Chloe Saunders’ portrayal of Val Clarke comes with a side of very welcome attitude, she’s fiercely fantastic. Kristine Urich and Al Deluca do a terrific job with "Sing!", their sugared energy a joy to watch.
The numbers are punctuated with monologues that reflect on family heritage, sexuality and identity. Nikolai Foster’s direction ensures these moments get that time in the spotlight. He strips back the shining lights and leaves space for them to grow and be released. The result is deeply emotive and poignant, only adding to the intensity.
Ellen Kane’s choreography feels contemporary and stylish. The movement is smooth and fluid, complementing the freeing score and matching the liberating stories it tells. The movement shines most brightly in the opening number "I Hope I Get It" and closing with "One".
Carly Mercedes Dyer performs a faultless contemporary number showcasing her devotion to the line, in "The Music and The Mirror".
It is daring - a complete break in narrative - and impossible to look away from.
Blistering and glittered, brutal and glorious. Curve’s A Chorus Line is the perfect tribute to the determination and guts of the people at the heart of our theatre industry.
A Chorus Line plays at Curve till 31 Dec 2021