Reviewd by Odette McCarthy
Lane Cove Theatre Company greets you with an amiable welcome to the multi-award-winning musical, Violet. The narrative explores the emotional struggles of a woman who is left scarred after a freak accident in her youth. She boards a bus on a journey to see a preacher she believes will finally cure her of the horrific aesthetic affliction she was left with.
The choice has been made to leave the physical scar across Violet’s face out of this production. The scar is depicted purely through the other characters reactions to her and by Violet’s own emotional responses. This touches on image issues that continue to forebode our society. It openly illustrates people’s perceptions on physical appearance and disfigurement and the pressures people feel to look a certain way. Even deeper than that, it touches on how judgemental people can be towards the damage and imperfections that they initially perceive within another person.
Chelsea Taylor and 12-year-old Taylor Sway bring the role of Violet to life with mellifluent voices and intimate performances. Backed by a concordant cast, some of which are in small character roles, Violet moves you with its melodies. This talented, diverse cast definitely delivers. Directed by Kathryn Thomas with musical direction by Stephen Dula.
For a small theatre set in a church in Longueville, this musical does not disappoint. There is a full set, soft lighting, and live music all worthy of a steady applause. The scores are noteworthy and flavoured, hinting at tastes in country, gospel, blues, and honky-tonk rock.
The community feel within the theatre is truly humbling. Upon entering, you are immediately met with a hospitable little group offering cheese and wine, or a hot cuppa sided by a brownie all for your enjoyment as you watch.
This community feel is spread throughout the performance. The story takes a glance at a number of social issues, racism, sexism, feminism, and makes an attempt at amending them through song. If only our social issues could be fixed so eloquently.
Violet the musical will take you on a sensitive journey through darkness, but bring you to light.