Ask Audrey Ask Audrey
Archived

High Fidelity

"everyone gives their all"

What the critics say: Are punchy performances enough to keep this film-to-musical adaptation spinning?

Text size
Text size
Add to favourites

High Fidelity

Date: 24 Nov 2017

“There isn’t a weak link in this cast,” writes Cassie Tongue in her review of High Fidelity for Time Out.

The weak link, most critics agree, is the script.

“The less you know of, or have sentimental feelings for, Stephen Frears’ 2000 movie High Fidelity, the more you’ll probably enjoy this musical theatre adaptation,” writes Audrey editor Jason Blake in his review for the Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s like Hilary Duff’s cover of My Generation in that respect. Or Celine Dion’s You Shook Me All Night Long: difficult to appreciate with the original in mind.”

Scripted by David Lindsay-Abaire, High Fidelity sticks close to the movie but its celluloid predecessor’s appeal is lost in translation. “The characters bear a trite American blandness. Both its humour and drama are ridden with cliché and a staggering predictability,” writes Suzy Wrong on Suzy Goes See. She is rather more impressed by the production and the efforts of the cast.

“The strong leads almost save the day,” Suzy continues. “Toby Francis and Teagan Wouters bringing an admirable sense of vulnerability and authenticity to their roles.”

In The Australian, Deborah Jones gives Francis a nod for his “undeniable charm” as record shop owner Rob Gordon but notes that “while Rob endlessly bares his indecisive soul (with on-off lighting to match), everyone around him gets to do much more interesting things.”

Cassie has kind words for director Neil Gooding and cast for generating a sense of agency for the women of the story, Teagan Wouters (Laura, Rob’s ex-girlfriend), especially: “Wouters brings cool, confidence and self-possession with great reserves of warmth to the part. And she’s never sounded better; in Number Five with a Bullet she sings the house down with fuck-you glory.”

Richard Cotter at Australian Stage concurs: “Wouters is lyrically lustrous as Laura. Zoe Gertz as Liz, Laura’s bestie is a force majeure, gutsy, feisty and sincere.”

And the music? Composer Tom Kitt and lyricist Amanda Greene’s score “blends pop and rock with some flair but results in the kind of air-punchers Rob and his buddies wouldn’t let through the front door, much less sing,” writes Jason.

Most had good things to say about the quality of the singing and the playing. “Andrew Worboys’ band is tight and responsive, bringing life into a rock-led score that’s more generic than it is incendiary,” writes Cassie.

The last word goes to Suzy: “There is great conviction on stage, everyone gives their all, but we want an artistry that is more than elbow grease. The show people are clearly inspired, but the audience too needs to be moved.”

Content
Muriel’s Wedding the Musical
Add to favourites
ArchivedThe Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay 6 Nov - 27 Jan 2018

Muriel’s Wedding the Musical

Audrey takes a seat at the critical reception for Muriel's Wedding the Musical. It's a champagne affair.

Wharf Revue 2017: The Patriotic Rag
Add to favourites
ArchivedSydney Theatre Company Wharf 1 24 Oct - 30 Dec 2017

Wharf Revue 2017: The Patriotic Rag

Trump, Abbott, Kim and Merkel provide the grist for the Wharf Revue's endlessly churning satirical mill.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Add to favourites
ArchivedSydney Lyric Theatre 28 Sep - 4 Feb 2018

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

What the critics say: Clarity, classic pop tunes and Esther Hannaford. What's not to like?

See More

More to see

View All
Bangarra dancers share special bond
Add to favourites
ArchivedCarriageworks, Eveleigh 24 Nov - 2 Dec 2017

Bangarra dancers share special bond

Bangarra choreographers combine their knowledge of a sacred animal to create an abstract work of dance.

George Zhao: Class clown
Add to favourites
ArchivedLeura Everglades Garden 13 - 28 Jan 2018

George Zhao: Class clown

Benjamin Law and George Zhao talk turning points. One of them is Flubber.

A short back and sides with Inua Ellams
Add to favourites
ArchivedYork Theatre, Seymour Centre 18 - 28 Jan 2018

A short back and sides with Inua Ellams

Inua Ellams speaks with Steve Dow ahead of the Sydney premiere of his UK hit Barber Shop Chronicles.

Seven shows for kids at Sydney Festival (that you will enjoy too)
Add to favourites
ArchivedVenues across Sydney 6 - 28 Jan 2018

Seven shows for kids at Sydney Festival (that you will enjoy too)

"Imagine what it would be like if you glued all your kids’ toys together, every gonk, every brick, every pointy plastic thing."

Top