MONEY FOR SOMETHING @ Hayman Theatre gets 8/10

Money for Something 
@ Hayman Theatre

Sunday, October 18, 2020


For decades now, Hayman Theatre has been quietly granting the opportunity to countless Curtin University students to make theatre on their own terms. Matthew Arnold, an Honours student studying Curtin Theatre Arts, has done just that with Money for Something, creating an incredibly fun musical with some serious heart.

Money for Something is a jukebox musical, consisting entirely of songs by the legendary British rock band Dire Straits. Arnold’s original script constantly delivers clever comedy and deftly weaves Dire Straits songs into the narrative of the piece. The musical follows band members Michael (Nelson Fannon), George (Liz Offer), and Harry (Christian Dichiera) as they navigate fame, love, and some minor substance abuse.

Along the way, they encounter Julie (Ella Waterman), journalist and Michael’s love interest, and Jonas (Matt John Jones), producer/devil incarnate. Waterman and John Jones also each portray multiple side-characters and do an excellent job of slipping in and out of these different roles.

It’s the three band members that really steal this show; the actors beautifully embody a trio of flawed idealists. Fannon portrays Michael with a boatload of charisma, bringing his artistic struggle to life with wonderful asides to the audience and truly rocking every song he performs.

Dichiera is a natural comic but brings balance to his laid-back nature in the moments where the show explores his troubled family life and alcoholism. While slightly underwritten as a character, Offer still manages to bring us a charming rebel in the role of George and is one of the best vocalists in the production.

The wonderful vocal work from all the actors is backed by a tremendous band. Joshua Haines on keys, Josh Nicholls and Josh Green on guitars, Amber Anderson on bass, and Jasper Miller on drums all work together to expertly bring both the classics and deep cuts to life. The musical segments are also enhanced by Matthew Arnold’s fresh, fun, and innovative choreography.

As for the songs themselves, you can expect to find all the Dire Straits classics; Money for Nothing, Sultans of Swing, and Walk of Life are all done justice, but it is the lesser-known tracks, like Industrial Disease and Millionaire Blues that really stick out and get stuck in your head.

The show is backed by excellent technical work. While the Dominique Duvall’s set design is appropriately minimal, Sebastian Boyd’s Audio-Visual design makes up for it, by giving each of the show’s many settings a unique sense of place. Chloe Palliser’s lighting design is vibrant and enhances the musical segments with flashy and fun choices, and Jonathan Hoey’s live sound operation was masterful, ensuring the band and singers were never drowning each other out.

Money for Something is a show full of heart and toe-tapping tunes. If you’re looking for a show that is a straight-up good time this week, this is one of the best options you’re going to find.


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