Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 – Darlinghurst Theatre Company (NSW)
Written by Dave Malloy, directed by Dean Drieberg, Musical Director Claire Healy and Choreographed by Brendan Yeates.
Produced by Darlinghurst Theatre Company
Reviewed by Tessa Miles
Darlinghurst Theatre Company
Until 20th August
An absolute must-see that is a testament to the transformative power of theatre.
Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 makes its Australian premiere at the Darlinghurst Theatre Company, delivering an outstanding production that will leave you mind-blown. Inspired by Leo Tolstoy's Love and War, this musical masterpiece by the talented composer Dave Malloy takes audiences on a captivating journey through love, betrayal, and the pursuit of purpose.
The intimate Eternity Theatre at Darlinghurst Theatre Company provides the perfect setting for this immersive experience. Drawing inspiration from the original Broadway production, the stage has been ingeniously expanded, extending to the sides and even into the audience with a catwalk midway through the seating. Additional platforms and ladders cleverly stretch the stage upwards, creating a visually stunning and dynamic environment. This innovative staging allows the audience to feel intimately connected to the story, transforming them into active participants in the unfolding events, and at times, even becoming part of the narrative itself.
Darlinghurst Theatre Company presents NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812, Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Photo: Robert Catto
The diverse and immensely talented cast delivers performances that are nothing short of extraordinary. In addition to their exceptional singing, dancing, and acting skills, they skilfully play a range of musical instruments live on stage, including guitars, drums, piano, cello, and accordions. This quadruple threat ensemble showcases the best of Australia's musical talent. Grace Driscoll's portrayal of Natasha is simply stunning, both vocally and emotionally. Her rendition of "No One Else" is a moving and enchanting highlight. Zoy Frangos embodies Pierre with unwavering commitment, leaving a lasting impression with his powerful voice. Jules Pendrith shines as the charismatic Anatole, infusing the character with just the right amount of swagger. Kala Gare's portrayal of Sonya brings an infectious energy to the stage, especially in the standout performance of "Sonya Alone." The entire cast delivers thoroughly entertaining and brilliant performances, seamlessly piecing together the intricate puzzle of this production.
The music and lyrics by Malloy are an absolute delight, showcasing his mastery of blending diverse musical genres. The score effortlessly combines classical music, folk, rock, and electronica, resulting in a mesmerising soundscape that perfectly complements the story's emotional depth. Under the guidance of musical director Claire Healy, the ensemble flawlessly executes the intricate score, displaying their exceptional multi-talent and skills.
The choreography by Brendan Yeates is simply awe-inspiring. Each movement is meticulously crafted, weaving the show, the characters, the music, and the story into a seamless tapestry. Yeates, fresh off the successful Australian and New Zealand run of Hamilton, showcases his technical brilliance and polished artistry, even in the simplest of movements.
Visually, the production is a feast for the eyes. Veronique Benett's innovative lighting design, combined with Tyler Hawkins' simple yet striking set design, transports the audience to 19th-century Russia. The attention to detail is remarkable, from the intricately designed costumes by Nicol and Ford to the meticulous set pieces, all harmoniously contributing to a visually stunning and immersive experience.
...an absolute gem, highlighting the transformative power of theatre.
Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 at Darlinghurst Theatre Company is an absolute gem, highlighting the transformative power of theatre. The seamless integration of superb performances, mesmerising music, innovative staging, and audience involvement creates a spellbinding experience that will leave you captivated long after the final bow.
If you're seeking a theatre experience that challenges conventions and transports you to a bygone era while exploring timeless themes, do not miss this exceptional production. Treat yourself to an unforgettable night of pure entertainment as you are swept away on a journey of love, passion, and the complexities of the human spirit. Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 at Darlinghurst Theatre Company is an absolute must-see.
CAST AND CREATIVES
Director Dean Drieberg
Musical Director Claire Healy
Choreographer Brendan Yeates
Set Designer Tyler Hawkins
Lighting Designer Veronique Benett
Sound Designer Dylan Robinson
Starring Grace Driscoll, Zoy Frangos, Jules Pendrith, Kala Gare, Marissa Saroca, Jillian O’Dowd, Lillian Hearne, P. Tucker Worley, Anton Berezin, Cameron Bajraktarevic-Hayward, Tom New and Skye Beker.