Theatre: Toy Symphony is a captivating performance at Ad Astra


oy Symphony Michael Gow Ad Astra

Toy Symphony by Michael Gow is the latest offering from Fortitude Valley theatre Ad Astra and it is a captivating performance. 

Located adjacent to the heart of Fortitude Valley it’s the perfect spot for a night at the theatre, without the hassle.

The three week run of Toy Symphony has just began and it’s not to be missed.

Ad Astra: An intimate theatre experience

Toy Symphony is an interesting piece of Australin theatre.

Written by Michael Gow who is most known for his famous play Away, Toy Symphony offers a different journey all together.

Presented by Ad Astra, Toy Symphony is performed in a space that fits an audience of just 50 people.

It’s intimate and perfect for a piece of engaging theatre such as this.

Under the careful guide of director Michelle Carey the show is meticulously moulded to this unique space.

The audience is immersed into the performance as they meet writer Roland Henning (Gregory Wilken).

At times sitting literally beside the performers creates a dynamic space that is perfect for this work.

Engaging and Powerful

Performed with a cast of six, this dynamic cast unpack the life of writer Roland Henning, expertly played by Wilken.

Set in two distinctly different acts the performance explores Henning’s childhood through a therapy session.

Roland Henning is suffering from writers block, with the aid of his therapist he explores his life to try and fix himself.

Wilken brings the audience with him perfectly from moment to moment, bringing a strong emotional range to the role.

Alternating to his current life in Act two, he comes to terms with where his life has taken him.

The cast bring to life the at times harrowing and touching upbringing of the writer as he struggles to understand himself.

What is real and what are memories he has helped construct are not always clear, but the trauma of his past is.

Toy Symphony is not a simple play, however it is engaging and powerful.

Assisted by a strong, dynamic cast the characters bring his story to life.

Toy Symphony features a dynamic cast

Part of the appeal of Toy Symphony is its immersion into Australian history.

As we travel back to his childhood we revisit Henning’s life growing up in Como, New South Whales.

His memories are anchored in his time at school.

They are brought to life briliantly by Bernadette Pryde, playing the role of his year 5 teacher, Mrs Walkham.

Pryde is the embodiment of the old school middle aged primary school teacher.

From her perfectly styled hair, to the glasses dangling around her neck over her floral dress she looks the part.

But it is her mannerisms, her tone and voice that instantly transport the audience back to their childhood classroom.

She is every year five teacher you can remember fussing with the overhead projector and handing out books.

Expert transformations

But Wilken and Pryde are equally supported by their four counterparts excellently.

Sam Webb arguably almost steals the show from everyone.

His ability to turn from excited school boy to school yard bully, therapist and drug dealer is exceptional.

Each role is captivating from moment to moment.

It’s the same energy and skill harnessed by Caitlin Hill, Lachlan Stuart and Greg Scurr as they alternate between their roles.

Hill leads the first half of the performance as his therapist, expertly guiding the troubled writter back to his childhood.

Stuart expertly transforms himself from local lawyer to enthusiastic thespian seamlessly.

Greg Scurr alternatining from a young german school boy to tyrannical headmaster is as entertaining as it is terrifying.

Toy Symphony by Michael Gow is expertly constructed by the cast at Ad Astra.

Tickets are available online HERE, performances run from April 21st to the 14th of May.

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