COSI – Barossa Players

COSI – Barossa Players

Reviewed by David Smith

July 2016

Barossa Players have established a justifiably solid reputation since their inception in 2012. They are fortunate to have access to one of the best performance venues in the State, and that they have wisely chosen productions to suit the intimate Eckermann Theatre.
Cosi is a worthy addition to their repertoire. The set was starkly simple yet functional, and the costumes suited the themes and era of the play. They succeeded, too, in illustrating the parallels between the plot of the opera, the Vietman moratorium and the characters' lives.
Director Nicolaas Voorendt cast the play well. The characters were diverse and had the right emotional weight. The most animated, and in many ways most arresting, were Colin Davis who, with shades of Barry Otto's screen performance, played Roy with convincing and empathetic zest; Kelly Adams who was a blast as the dominant Cherry; and Spencer Scholz whose Doug was chillingly menacing, confronting and manipulative.  
Sandy Smith played the obsessive Ruth with delightfully understated conviction, Voorendt himself was quietly impressive and evocative as Henry, and Andrew Smith was convincingly sincere as the novice theatre director, Lewis. Emmica Schlobohm, too, played Julie with sustained focus and credibility. 
It's tempting to exaggerate the characteristics of certain mental illnesses. In the main, this cast resisted that urge and the performance was the better and more authentic for it.
While setting his story in a mental institution, Nowra successfully handled the delicacy of making the various plots both very serious and very funny. The Barossa Players did so too. 
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This production was reviewed by:

David Smith
David Smith
David’s long involvement in community theatre began in Adelaide and continued for some decades in Port Augusta, Whyalla, Kapunda and the Barossa, and for one year, McAllen, Texas, USA. He is a performer, director, writer and former secondary school Drama teacher. He sings in the Adelaide Harmony Choir.

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