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Stop. Drop. And Listen - Shopfront Arts Co-Op (NSW)

A Senior Ensemble Production. Directed by Lily Hayman and Hayden Tonazzi.

Reviewed by Justin Clarke

Shopfront Arts Co-Op, Carlton July 13-16 2023 Tickets:

- Things go so wrong, yet so right in Shopfront Arts Co-Ops latest offering from their Senior Ensemble -

It’s always a pleasure to attend a Shopfront Arts Co-Op performance to see original works devised by young performers. Every iteration is different from the last and encapsulates something each young person wishes to impart onto their audience, be it Mum and Dad, friends and family, or the random theatre goer looking to support new works. The senior ensemble production, Stop. Drop. And Listen continues this trend with wit, humour and heavy notes of Mischief Theatre’s brand of shows that “Go Wrong”.

Unbeknownst to the audience, we are actually here to see a production of The Magic Mushroom featuring a council of mushrooms, a slow-moving wise turtle and a zany villainous chef, Gordon Ram-Slay.

Directors Lily Hayman and Hayden Tonazzi (both past Artists of the Month for Theatre Thoughts) have clearly had too much fun helping to create this mischievous piece of theatre as (intended) mishaps occur from the beginning to the end of the piece. From Olivia Tsigaropoulos running late to the performance stuck inside the foyer’s kitchen, to Jack Degen’s attempts at performing his monologue as much as possible, through to low-hanging moons dropping dangerously close to the floor, the young ensemble wish to make the audience laugh and giggle throughout.

In seeing more and more Shopfront Arts productions, I have become witness to seeing recurring actors develop in their performing strengths, as well as others stepping onto the stage for the first time. Astra Milne remains a constant strength amongst the ensemble, committing to each line and staying true to the ensemble form. Sunny Morris, given a lot more of the limelight in this production, has a steady calmness on stage. Tsigaropoulous plants herself as a standout performer with a strong presence as a leader of the production. Bianca Castelletto shows the makings of a seasoned performer through a direct gaze and focus on being present within every line and movement in the production. Degan’s boisterous villain has a lot of fun swinging a humorously long wooden spoon amidst rhyme and cooking based puns. Roya Rezaie and Samuel Arnold are gleefully silly in their French sidekick roles Purplette and Yellette. Toby Church shows a knack for comic timing in his slow moving Tom the Turtle. Lucian Tesoriero bounces off Church's Tom, whilst bringing heart to the hidden coda of the show. Jasmine Thoroughgood leans into the playfulness of the theatrical space itself. Ben Church “does his best” as the stand-in Young Leader, winning the audience from the beginning.

For young performers looking to strengthen their skills as an actor or theatre-maker, Shopfront Arts Co-Op places them, quite literally, at the very front of each production they create. So take your budding theatre makers and performers down to Carlton for a silly giggle with Tom, Jeff, Ram-Slay and the rest of the gang and while you’re there, enquire about their workshops for young people.


Stop. Drop. And Listen: A Senior Ensemble Production

July 13 - 16

Some stories are too big to be told by just one person. Some stories can change the world. And some stories are like something you've never heard before. Featuring villainous French chef's, a forbidden fungus, magic powers and wise old turtles, Stop. Drop. And Listen is one of those kinds of stories.

Join Shopfront's Senior Ensemble for an adventure that takes aim at the big impossible problems we all have to face, exploring what we do when things go terribly wrong and how to find the right answers in the end.

Directed by Hayden Tonazzi and Lily Hayman Devised by Shopfront's Senior Ensemble

Tickets: Adult $25/ Concession $20 / Shopfront or Playwave Member $15 AUSLAN INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE: Friday 14th July @ 7pm

Presented by Shopfront Arts Co-op

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