Reviews/Comedy/Fringe World Festival/Theatre

Rising stars have it all

25 January 2022

Stardom is an elusive dream, as the cast of ALLSTARS make clear, but David Zampatti sees plenty of evidence to suggest this exciting trio have what it takes.

ALLSTARS, Just Friends Theatre Company ·
State Theatre Centre of WA, 24 January 2022 ·

There are plenty of precedents for the premise behind ALLSTARS: back in the ’70s there were the Little Ladies in Rock Follies, and you could say it springs from Absolutely Fabulous, too. 

Anyone who’s a fan of the BBC satire The Windsors would see something of the scheming and dreaming of its not-so-regal princesses Eugenie and Beatrice in this show.

ALLSTARS is the creation of Hannah Davidson, Rebecca Fingher and Sian Murphy and it should be a hit at this year’s Fringe.

Davidson, Fingher and Murphy graduated together in WAAPA’s Performance Making class of 2019. The inventiveness, energy and self-reliance that this admirable cross-disciplinary course brings out are everywhere in ALLSTARS.

It starts with a flashy live and multimedia number that is tons of fun as well as setting up the characters and how they’re going to go about their mission – which, they tell us, is “becoming famous, filthy rich, and ready to sell our souls to do it”.

Sian Murphy from ALLSTARS, pictured a blonde woman wears a bumble bee costume as she looks into the distance.
Sian Murphy helping to nail Juliet’s death scene. Photo: Sophie Minissale

Being logical gals, they start by working out where they want to get to. They reckon success is sealed by being the most famous person in the world, and after some googling they decide that is Dwayne Johnson. And the Artist Formerly Known as The Rock’s fame is exemplified by his performance as the Tooth Fairy. 

Their logic, therefore, means success lies in the movies that changed their lives: the Twilight films and The Sound of Music.

Fingher is auditioning for Romeo and Juliet and enlists the allergic Davidson to help her nail Juliet’s death scene by being stung by a bee; Murphy and Fingher decide that porn might be their path to the top (there is a “mild” nudity – whatever that is – warning along with the customary COVID advice in the audience information email for the show).

In the show’s funniest and wisest skit, a character who could very easily be our Premier farewells a departing lover at an airport departure gate with: “Sometimes, if you love someone, you have to let them go …

“But once you leave, you can’t come back.”

The show is co-created and directed by prima fringerina Charlotte Otton (who also makes a truly gobsmacking appearance as a face pressed against a rubberised … um … thing). It has terrific pace and savvy, and is much enhanced by some superbly constructed and often hilarious multimedia work from Murphy and Otton, sound designer Bec Price and lighting designer Katrina Johnston.  And Davidson, Fingher and Murphy all have more chops than an Australia Day barbecue in Halls Head.

ALLSTARS has plenty to say about the fragility of an artist’s life, the lengths and depths to which those who undertake this most merciless of professions sometimes have to go, and the realisation that the rewards of wealth and fame it dangles are out of reach of all but the very, very few.

And that’s where ALLSTARS was heading all along. 

ALLSTARS continues at the State Theatre Centre of WA until 29 January 2022. 

Pictured top: Sian Murphy, Rebecca Fingher, Hannah Davidson bring cross-disciplinary skills to ‘ALLSTARS’. Photo by Sophie Minissale

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Author —
David Zampatti

David Zampatti has been a student politician, a band manager, the Freo Dockers’ events guy, a bar owner in California, The West Australian’s theatre critic and lots of other crazy stuff. He goes to every show he’s reviewing with the confident expectation it will be the best thing he’s ever seen.

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