I am old enough to have served up Sue Hinton’s novel “The Outsiders” to a legion of middle school students in English classes across the state. It was always well received back then. So too was Zoe Muller and Matilda Butler’s realisation of the novel’s playscript on the Bakehouse Theatre’s playing space.
Within the energetic cast there were some standout performances. Alex Whitrow invested his character Ponyboy with intelligence and sensitivity. His voice was well modulated throughout and his diction clear. This, the most basic tool of an actor, always requires most thought and consideration.
Likewise the luckless Johnny (Dylan Miller) and would be “fixer” Dallas (Henry Solomon) each remained true to their characters. This trio in particular delivered good chemistry together onstage.
Zoe Taylor’s Cherry sowed the seeds of common sense and she also addressed the audience with a confident poise.
James Fazzalari and Matilda Butler as Sodapop and Sandy made a fetching couple negotiating the winding road familiar to all young lovers whist Albert Ngo was appropriately pugilistic as the razor wielding Soc member Bob.
The production was not without its flaws and continuity was patchy in the second half due mainly to some clunky scene transitions. Also cues were not picked up quickly enough at times. However this was first night when nerves are jangling and I’m sure these issues will improve as the season proceeds.
I note the production will be taken into schools. An excellent plan that will work a treat I’m sure. The universal themes re negotiating the rocky road of teenage transition to adulthood played out by this cast will instantly resonate with a high school audience.
Having seen Zoe and Matilda’s production of “Puberty Blues” in 2018 I am convinced this young couple of entrepreneurs have a bright theatrical future. They have identified a void for older teens and young adult performers in local theatre offerings and have both the passion and the collective talents to fill that void.
I highly recommend a visit to see Deadset Theatre’s latest production at the Bakehouse complex.The Outsiders
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