Carrie the Musical, Stephen King’s novel arranged for the stage, follows a sheltered teenage girl’s journey through bullying and discovering her powers of telekinesis. What I love most about musical versions of stories is what the songs reveal about characters often represented in silence in film adaptations. Carrie (Olivia Rose) is a wallflower and suffers in silence but in her solo numbers “Carrie” and “Why Not Me?” her personality and desires are revealed to the audience.
The casting for Carrie the Musical was phenomenal. Olivia Rose’s Carrie transformed from the shy, religious child to a dynamic teenage girl who turns vengeful when provoked. Olivia Rose was the perfect Carrie, vocally expressive and at times piercingly captivating. Carrie’s mother Margaret (Cathy Woodhouse) is another trump card, transformative from protector to sacrificer. Margaret’s inner conflict with religion and sin is catalysed by the reveal of Carrie’s powers and ultimately forces her hand.
Matthew Arnold’s Tommy Ross was vocally impressive and his character’s laid-back nature emanated seamlessly. Sue Snell (Ruth Bennett) and Chris Hargensen (Grace Chapple) often bounced off one another in a contrast of petty humour and sympathy. Hargensen’s performance was cringe-worthy good, reminding me of Regina George from Mean Girls. Dance and chorus numbers wowed, and use of special effects was visually pleasing.
Fake blood was used throughout the second act and traces accumulated on the floor. Director Ryan S McNally admitted after each performance the cast is required to thoroughly examine their costumes for fake blood in case any items need stain removal along with Carrie’s dress. This added chore is admittedly worth every ounce of effort due to the visual impact from the fake blood on stage. It comes as a surprise that no one slipped.
Carrie the Musical was a thoroughly enjoyable retelling of a well-loved story and I would highly recommend watching it. Carrie the Musical is showing at Phoniex Theatre in Hamilton Hill from the 6th of October until the 21st. Tickets on sale now. For more information visit the Dark Psychic Productions website.