Limelight Theatre in Wanneroo has a long history of amateur theatre in Perth. They are on of the leading community theatres in the area, and have helped launch the careers and provide the training and groundwork for many Perth actors working today. All of the people involved should be highly proud of what this gem of the northern suburbs has achieved.
Greenwicks is the latest in a long line of musicals the theatre company has staged. Written and Directed by duo John McPherson and James Marzec, it follows the antics of employees in lockdown at Greenwicks Supermarket. With three individual plot lines that all come to a head together in the end, the boring supermarket is examined under the harsh fluorescent lights and given the showbiz treatment.
The ridiculous and over-the-top managerial team set out to catch a thief. They all have their quirks, from the grumpy manager whose eyebrows seem to be permanently knitted together in dissatisfaction, to the stickler for the rules head manager – and it is these personalities that come together to figure out the mystery. The villain of the piece is Jude – a hard-done-by grocery boy who feels the patriarchal entitlement most men do when a woman he has a crush on decides to date his friend. He gets a sub-par and paltry villain song which actively recruits a team of minions. It’s a great concept, just not quite punchy enough.
What McPherson and Marzec no doubt consider to be a clever criticism of male attitudes towards women, the ‘checkout chicks’ (who are consistently referred to as ‘girls’) have a revenge plot-line – they attempt to take down their lecherous manager, Kevin. It is disappointing that Kevin is the most ridiculous caricature of creepy pervert when the opportunity to highlight a wider institutionalised sexist attitude had presented itself. Apart from a throwaway line in the checkout girl song, this issue is not even addressed.
The musical numbers are big – there is complicated choreography, belt-it-out moments, and feather boas galore. It might be wiser to focus on the singing, rather than the dancing as the largeness of the numbers, at times, subtracts from the action. There are genuinely funny moments, the staging is impeccable, and the singing is good. Overall, Greenwicks is the perfect vehicle for an amateur theatre group to showcase their talents. All of the friends and family of the cast and crew should be proud, as they serve up a solid show – considering that these people all have day jobs and are not professional actors or singers, it is a job well done.
Greenwicks played at Limelight Theatre in Wanneroo from 7th – 17th June 2017