Drummer Queens delivers non-stop entertainment thanks to the cast’s sublime percussion skills, imaginatively choreographed dance and acrobatic routines and colourful synchronised lighting.
The all-female show, which premiered in Sydney earlier in the year, is now playing at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre as part of an Australian wide tour.
Created and composed by Joe Accaria, Drummer Queens is based on the premise the world has stopped spinning due to a lack of beat, rhythm and fun. The Drummer Girls unite to get the world turning again through the power of drumming and music.
While I must admit to not recognising this story-line, my companion who is far more musically inclined, commented on the show’s clever transitioning through costuming, staging and the music.
I more saw the 90-minute show as a series of 25 musical pieces enthusiastically and expertly performed by eight extremely talented performers.
Those performers – Georgia Anderson, Niki Johnson, Peta Anderson, Salina Myat, Stef Furnari, Lisa Purmodh, Claudia Wherry and Ned Wu are each given the chance to showcase their individual skills on stage.
They also seamlessly work together in ensemble numbers and behind the scenes moving the show’s extensive metallic ladders and scaffolding sets. These sets, together with the yellow overalls of the cast at the beginning of the show, create a steampunk feel. Later the costuming moves to a more military look.
As well as providing the show’s staging, the copper pipes and metal frames of the industrial style sets also feature in many of the musical numbers. Indeed, just about everything appearing on stage is ‘played’ including hands and other body parts!
More `traditional’ instruments include drums of all shapes and sizes and all sorts of other percussion instruments.
The drumsticks used to play many of these instruments also have their own starring role in a couple of numbers, being expertly spun, twirled and illuminated.
This adds to the colour and movement of the show as does the dancing, led by the show’s choreographer, Peta Anderson. Her tap-dancing routine is a standout.
The acrobatic skills of several of the cast members is another highlight. Both the dancing and acrobatics add to the high energy feel of the production, which is further enhanced by the continual movement of the performers and their musical instruments during numbers.
Equally as impressive is the ability of all cast members to express their feelings while performing often complex pieces. Given there’s no dialogue in the show, the performers rely on their movements and facial expressions to communicate with the audience.
Their messaging on opening night indicated they were energised and thoroughly enjoying themselves. The standing ovation at the end of the show suggested the audience felt the same way!
Drummer Queens plays at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre until May 8 and then travels to Brisbane (May 11-16), Wollongong (June 8-11), Perth (June 15-17), Albany (June 19), Bunbury (June 24), Canberra (June 30 to July 3) and Adelaide (September 8 to 19). For tickets and more information visit the Drummer Queens website.
*Photo credit: David Hooley
Jenny Burns attended the opening night of Drummer Queens as a guest of the show.
- live shows, Melbourne
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