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Summer Street

“A clumsy musical parody of australian soap operas”

Andrew Norris’ musical began life in 2004 as a nostalgic pastiche of the Australian soap operas Neighbours and Home and Away, set to the popular music of the period. This sounds like it might have been fun, but the show has evolved into something far less entertaining.

Summer Street, subtitled The Hilarious Soap Opera Musical!, revolves around a fictitious Australian drama that made pop stars out of some of its cast members. Years after the soap was cancelled, its stars are invited back for a reunion episode, but the wily producer secretly plans to rejig the programme for the 21st century.

Again, this isn’t a bad premise. It touches on the transience of fame and changes in taste and tone in daytime drama. The problem is that Norris’ script is painfully short on laughs and the coarse jokes wear thin after a couple of skits. The songs don’t help. Norris’ compositions are lethargic, his lyrics crass and the arrangements unimaginative. An edited version presented at the Brighton Fringe cut five of the musical numbers – this may have been a good thing.

The cast valiantly try to make this musical work, but it’s an uphill struggle. Simon Snashall and Julie Clare gamely snipe at one another as Bruce and Steph, the longest serving members of the cast, while Myke Cotton provides some comic relief as buff stoner Paul. Sarah-Louise Young makes the most of her pastiche ballad Chains Around My Heart, but it’s too little, far too late.

Production Details
Production nameSummer Street
VenueWaterloo East
StartsMay 13, 2019
EndsJune 2, 2019
Running time2hrs
AuthorAndrew Norris
DirectorAndrew Norris
Musical directorSarah Morrison
ChoreographerLauren Chinery
Set designerAmy Mitchell
Costume designerAmy Mitchell
Lighting designerPhil Ellams
Sound designerPaul Thomas
CastJulie Clare, Myke Cotton, Sarah-Louise Young, Simon Snashall
Stage managerPaul Thomas
ProducerAJN Productions
VerdictA clumsy musical satire of Australian soaps and the nature of fame
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Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Paul Vale

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