From the wonderful bustle of the preamble – greeting and interacting with people as they come in while also wrangling Gilligan as he slapsticks himself among the seats – to the finale, the cast certainly succeed in entertaining the audience. Sad then this is often in spite of the material they’re working with.
A cobbling together of gags, musical numbers more mediocre than marvellous, and a semi-coherent story of the first ‘visitors’ to the island – Gilligan’s Island: The Musical feels like quicksand in places. Thank goodness the performances lift the show out of its morass into something enjoyable and sweet.
Joshua Monaghan and Lauren Jimmieson were devilishly delicious as Thurston Howell III & his wife, Lovey. Thurston’s doting on Lovey and vice-versa was as cute as it was self-absorbed, producing no shortage of guffaws as the story progressed.
Kaya Byrne gave a charming performance as the pragmatic Professor, while Molly Fisher gave her role of farm-girl, Mary-Ann an engaging mix of innocence and moxie. The leading duo of Gilligan and the Skipper were played well by Riley Nottingham and Sam Marzden, capturing nicely the misadventure and friendship driving their relationship.
Alexia Bainsley was fantastic as Ginger, pushing the movie-star persona into the mythic with each torrid breath, line, and step she took. It was a captivating performance that, with the others, rightly worked to push the show’s overall shortcomings to the background, and bring the fun and comedy right up front.
Gilligan’s Island: The Musical
Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran
Performance: Friday 16 February 2018 – 7.30pm
Season continues to 4 March 2018
Information and Bookings: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au
Image: The cast of Gilligan’s Island: The Musical (supplied)
Review: David Collins