Home' The Murray Pioneer : September 2nd 2014 Contents 12 - "THE MURRAY PIONEER" www.murraypioneer.com.au Tuesday, September 2, 2014
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Murray Pioneer journalist and
former Loxton High School student
PAMELA PERRE has provided the
following review of the school's
2014 production, FOOTLOOSE,
which was performed recently.
"Cut loose, footloose. Kick off
the Sunday shoes...
Members of the audience were
tapping their feet and mouthing the
lyrics as the cast of Loxton High
School's 2014 musical Footloose
belted out the high energy opening
Thus the tone -- which com-
prised fun, energy, and massive
amounts of talent -- for the even-
ing's successful performance was
set.Footloose is a musical based on
the 1984 film of the same name,
and follows Ren McCormack who
moves from Chicago to the small
country town of Bomont, where
dancing is prohibited. Here he
meets Reverend Shaw Moore and
his daughter Ariel, and becomes a
driving force to reverse the dance
ban.The students, under the care
of director Claire Dalzell, utilised
the stage brilliantly, making the
show interactive during the church
scenes, emotive during the train
scenes between Ariel and Ren, and
downright sinister in the case of the
number Somebody's Eyes.
Musical director Jane Trower
and the band's music crept in and
out of each scene seamlessly, and
their endeavours to include more
part-singing into the musical were
a delight for the audience.
The two leads were perfectly
cast, namely Andrew Casey, who
played Ren McCormack, and Laura
Trower, who played Ariel Moore.
Andrew brought the attitude-
laden city boy -- turned country boy
to life, and he did a fantastic job of
smashing some of the potentially
hardest songs in the musical, while
proving his dancing prowess.
This was demonstrated in his
I Can't Stand Still performance
where he sung high notes and
followed them up with stunning
pirouettes, and the fast talking
numbers I'm Free and Dancing Is
Not A Crime.
Laura's first solo in the number
The Girl Gets Around cemented her
own singing abilities, but her voice
really shone in the song Holding
Out For A Hero, where she brought
sass to the demanding rock song
and absolutely nailed it.
Reverend Shaw Moore was
played by year 10 student Ryan
Casey (you read right, Andrew's
brother -- talented family), who
demonstrated his incredible singing
chops from his very first note in On
Ryan did well to bring emotion
to Moore's character, who went
from an uptight, bereaved reverend
to a loving and understanding father.
Ryan and Andrew had a bril-
liant scene together where a heated
argument turned into a full-on
screaming match. Neither broke
character and delivered the emotion
The scene-stealing Isabelle
Swanbury brought the character
of Ariel's best friend Rusty to
life with just the right amount of
enthusiasm and comedic timing,
delivering belly laughs with her
Similarly, Toby Skewes was
hilarious as the manic, kind-heart-
ed, always-up-for-a-fight Willard
Hewitt. He delivered the lines per-
fectly, used physical humour like
a pro and especially drew laughter
during his performance of Mama
Says (You Can't Back Down).
Both performers' comedy abili-
ties came together in perfect har-
mony in several scenes throughout
the show, a highlight being the
barbecue scene, where Toby's char-
acter learnt to dance in a comical
manner, and Isabelle got to show
off her beautiful voice in Let's
Hear It For The Boy.
They were flanked well by
Georgia Merkx, who played
Urleen, and Shaylee Kassulke, who
played Wendy Jo. Both had fabu-
lous voices and created a brilliant
little 'girls club' around Ariel.
However, Loxton High's
immense talent didn't stop there.
The reverend's calm and gentle wife
Vi Moore was perfectly embodied
by Nicola Badran, whose sweet
voice was a pleasure to listen to.
Demi Nicholson gave Ren's
mother Ethel just the right amount
of attitude, and Benjamin Waechter
giving Cowboy Bob a great voice,
and lovely country spice.
Jacob Taylor was Chuck, the
bad boy the audience loved to hate,
and did a good job in the song The
Girl Gets Around. His presence
was menacing, especially during
the reprise of Somebody's Eyes.
The chorus and smaller parts
were well acted and sung, and
really raised the bar for the high-
energy musical -- especially when
the entire cast maintained that ener-
gy and did a brilliant job with their
final number, the classic show's
signature song, Footloose.
Loxton High has, once again,
In the end the audience was left
with two thoughts: 'Where do I get
one of those shiny suits Ren was
wearing in the final dance scene?'
and 'That was so much fun, let's do
Footloose packed full of heroes and shiny suits
Toby Skewes (left) as Willard Hewitt in the 2014
Loxton High musical Footloose, performed at the
school theatre last month. INSET: Sarah Trower
(left) played the role of Ariel in the production,
while Andrew Casey (right) played the other
PHOTOS: Jane Wilson Photography
Four Riverland teachers were
last week named as finalists in
the 2014 National Excellence in
Public Education Awards.
Lyn Bretag, from Renmark
Primary School, Tasha Morath,
from Glossop High School, Annette
Kunoth, from the Riverland Special
School, and Craig Nielsen, from
Waikerie High School are among the
state's 64 finalists.
State Minister for Education and
Child Development Jennifer Rankine
said the awards recognised the efforts
of the state's hard-working teachers,
leaders and support staff.
"This year, we've seen more than
1900 nominations and these finalists
reflect the very best our public
education system has to offer," she
"I would like to say thank you to
these professionals for going above
and beyond in supporting families,
children and young people every day,
and making a significant difference in
The 64 finalists were chosen after
being shortlisted from 96 first stage
Finalists will attend a gala
presentation at the National Wine
Centre on September 29, when the
seven overall state winners will be
These winners will each receive
$10,000 in funding towards
Finalists in education awards
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