DISENCHANTED! @ Subiaco Arts Centre gets 7.5/10

Disenchanted! @ Subiaco Arts Centre
Thursday, October 10, 2019


Subiaco Arts Centre’s studio seats were filled in anticipation for the opening night of Disenchanted!, a leave-the-kids-at-home musical comedy by writer and composer Dennis T. Giacino, directed by Lorna Mackie. Developed in New York in 2009 and making its Off-Broadway premiere in 2012, the show has become a hit across the globe and is now in Perth with thanks to the incredible team at Grey Lantern Productions.

Giacino’s satirical musical seeks to subvert the institutionalised oppression of classical Disney princesses, tackling sexism and cultural insensitivity with sass and quips to keep the audience laughing. The princesses no longer wish to abide by the constraints of society’s expectations by remaining dutiful, silent woman, and so, they don’t. This is their not so “happily ever after.”

In raucous fashion, the formidable all-female cast storm the stage to reinvent their characters’ exploitation in narratives of old, with tales of lament and hilarity which remove the all-too-perfect veil with which we were once acquainted. These princesses are fed up with Disney’s character mutilation, they’re tired of doing the housework, and they’re damn hungry!

This seriously talented cast of eight brings ten princess characters to life through cabaret-style moves, and intense vocals which fill the space with hilarious numbers such as All I Wanna Do Is Eat, Without the Guy, and Big Tits. Snow White (Cassie Skinner) has a big voice and attitude to match. Cinderella (Georgia McGivern) is a clear crowd favourite, her sweet and scatterbrained antics the cause for much laughter.

Her disposition is matched only by Sleeping Beauty (Imogen Rabbite), who’s okay with not being perfect. Belle (Sharon Kiely) has gone insane, the cutlery is speaking to her! Mulan (Andrea Lim) is tired of patriarchal limitations and her portrayal on film, Ariel (Jess Lally) has some regrets in swapping out her fins for legs, Princess Badroulbadour (Therese Cruise) is tired of the secondary princess plight, Rapunzel is tired of being commercialised, and Pocahontas just wants you to get history right!

The set was simplistic, though effective, with lighting that varied the mood and brought vibrancy to the stage. Electric drums, keyboard, and guitar (directed by Maddison Moulin) create the show’s music for the evening. The Studio room itself was rather intimate and a bit warm, a water bottle handy is a must.

If you have ever felt disillusioned by Disney, Disenchanted! is a must-see. Could the satirical undertone run deeper? Undoubtedly. Is it otherwise a fantastic musical, performed by a bevy of brilliant, beautiful women, and a great night out? Absolutely.


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