Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mum's Army Goes Tivoli at the New Theatre in Sydney

Last night I attended the musical "Dinkum Assorted"(book, lyrics and music by Linda Aronson) at the New Theatre, Newtown Sydney. This is set in country NSW during the later stages of World War II. With most men serving overseas, the local biscuit factory is staffed by women, who also act as air raid wardens.

The first half of the play is reminiscent of the BBC TV show "Dad's Army" with civilians taking on a paramilitary role, some reluctantly, some relishing the power. Meantime the issues of those profiting from war and the tensions of missing loved ones and the temptation of snapshots of US airmen billeted nearby) bring a more serious tone.

The second half gets a little slapstick (also like Dad's Army), then serious and then turns into something like the old Tivoli theater. Choreographer Alyssha Clarke has done a wonderful job whipping the case into a chorus line of Rockettes, while Vocal Coordinator Kieran Fox has the cast singing up a storm.

The set by David Marshall-Martin evokes an old tin shed factory. A simple platform doubles as a local hill. The factory equipment is not entirely convincing (also reminiscent of Dad's Army) and the prop animals in the show are just silly.

This was a fun night and something the New Theater does well: entertainment with a social message. Younger audience members can enjoy this just as entertainment, those of us older may better understand some of the stories our mothers told us about WWII.

"Dinkum Assorted is on at the New Theater in Sydney until 19 December 2015. My ticket was courtesy of the New Theater.

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