“It was a reel catch of a show!” – Freya Nelson
The hallways of the Guild never seemed busier than they did last Sunday night, as the students and parents alike eagerly queued up to submerge themselves into the latest 48 hour show.
Watch This society are renowned for their hilarious twists on films we know and love, and this term it was the turn of Disney’s animated hit “Finding Nemo” to be given a comic makeover. The challenge of adapting the script was taken on by Will Jackson, who not only wrote the play, but directed it too. It’s fair to say that a huge congratulations is due to him and his producer; Chris Conway, for their success.
Despite having nothing but cardboard to create an aquatic set, the cast and crew managed to create a true sub-sea level of wonder; fishes, boats, a giant clam, and even robots featured in the show! All these were made with care, so when the famous goggles broke into two, the cast couldn’t help but join in with the laughter. There were also many costume changes for those playing multiple roles, so the need for extra fins was a must as characters would rush on and off, keeping up with the fast tide of the play. The obvious time and thought put into the little touches of the show were impressive, clips of music (including that song from Up!) really heightened the emotional scenes – for a 48hour show, it got pretty “deep”.
The first half stayed true to the film, remaining as near as possible to the events that take place. Then things took a turn for the crazy in the second half, and it wasn’t long before there was purely wonderful chaos taking place on stage. Plot twist after plot twist, the show soon became less of an homage to Disney’s tale, but it’s very own Fringe-worthy play.
Of course fan favourite characters of the film Dory, Marlin and Nemo (played by Vita Fox, Becky Hansell and Hannah Sharp) were all fin-tastic and carried the dual narrative nature of the play with ease. The chemistry between real life best buddies Vita and Becky made the dysfunctional friendship between the two protagonists charming to watch, and Sharp was endearing in her role of the heart-warming baby clownfish.
Yet it would be wrong to not give credit the numerous minor roles; Maya Whatton as a melancholic Mr Ray, Nia Tilley as a perfectly annoying Squirt, The Filter, the Acting troupe, and many more, who were all given their moments to shine. Also the cameos from fellow Disney stars, including Buzz Lightyear (David Woods), Wall-E (Sophia Hollis) and Sebastian (Suna Yokes), lead to wonderfully funny moments – one in particular where Dory proclaims herself as the “comic relief character” and tells Sebastian to leave the stage.
The whole cast was superb and gave rip-roaring performances and it’s a shame they can’t all be written about. However, there is one final person that definitely needs mentioning; the narrator. Normally not thought of anything more than a plot-device for 48hour shows, this one literally stole the show. Being set in the ocean it made sense to have The Little Mermaid’s very own Ursula, played by the fabulous Mike Howie, who tied the whole story together with flair and flamboyance.
The combination of a well-written script and a strong cast allowed for all the crazy scenarios could be pulled off without a hitch, and left the audience in stitches.