Reviewed by Allison Thomas
The Hills Musical Company production of Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, ably directed by Lauren Scarfe is superb!
This beautiful love story, set in Ancient Egypt, is about the star-crossed lovers Radames, an Egyptian Captain, and Aida, a Nubian slave, who come from nations at war with each other. I enjoyed the beginning and ending, which hinted at the Egyptian beliefs about reincarnation.
With music by Elton John, evident in beautiful piano accompaniment of several songs, and wonderful lyrics by Tim Rice (also for Lion King and other musicals), Aida is based on a book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls and David Henry Hwang.
Kristy Williamson, as choir master, and Tim Freedman on Sound, certainly mastered the balance of sound and music, which brought out the best in all the voices. Talented singers and actors, Rebecca Raymond as Aida and Lindsay Prodea as Radames, were strong, regal and powerful as the two lovers. Tegan Gully as Amneris was excellent in her role as the jilted princess coming into her power. I thought Chris Eaton’s Zoser was wooden and lacked the emotion of other actors. Daniel Steven played Mereb superbly, and The Pharoah, played by Brad Martin was suitably powerful.
Thomas Phillips’ choreography of the Dance of the Robe and The Gods Love Nubia were excellent, however I thought that some of the male dancers weren’t powerful enough to offset them dancing in long black robes.
Lighting by Tim Bates was excellent, especially the watery bath scene. Frequent costume changes were cleverly and smoothly executed, with the muted colours of the costumes skilfully highlighted by bling, scarves and simple decoration.
The simple set design by Lauren Scarfe and Mark Anolak allowed the interaction of characters to come across strongly.
All in all, a wonderful Opening Night performance by all cast and crew. Go see it now, before 20 May!
Tegan Gully as Amneris, Rebessa Raymond as Aida and Lindsay Prodea as Radames