This year’s School Splashtacular is a welcome return to the days where women could act however they wanted with reckless abandon – primary school. A time when girls were ‘allowed’ to be loud, inappropriate and a little gross, behaviour deemed to be unacceptable in adulthood. With a talented cast and jokes which landed on their feet, School Splashtacular celebrates all things young, wild and free.
Directors Rachael Colquhoun-Fairweather and Harriet Lugsdin directed a show so fun and captivating that the wom*n involved had the audience melting in their hands, standing and sitting at their every beck and call with no hesitation. The sketches left us all wanting to hang out with these incredible characters in the schoolyard, the gynaecologist’s office or frankly, wherever they transported us.
Entering the Reginald Theatre, covered in handmade, marine inspired décor, was reminiscent of going into a primary school disco or a colourful mufti day. In lieu of a live band, music clips of hits from ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ to ‘No Scrubs’ were played, allowing Music and Sound Operators Alice Chance, Charlie Breene and Margaret Thanos a chance to create an atmosphere where the level of playfulness never faltered.
A recurring highlight of the show was the introduction of iconic childhood characters such as The Wiggles or Wallace and Gromit, whose depictions would almost certainly ‘ruin your childhood’. A skit about Australian Icon Steve Irwin had audiences screaming before the premise had even been established and similar cultural references were orchestrated in enjoyable ways that kept audience members excitedly turning to the people around them, seeing if they caught the same thing.
This year’s cast saw a much welcomed increase in the presence of wom*n of colour who shone in their respective sketches, with Jestika Chand becoming so popular, her last skit elicited a giggle from the audience before the lights even went up.
The recurring segments of ‘Simply Depressed’ and ‘Let it Rip’ were absolute highlights, starring Alison Cooper and Remy Keldoulis, whose mesmerising use of comedic movement throughout the show was memorable. They stole our hearts with every appearance, culminating in a resounding ‘YES’ from the audience when they made their final appearance as the characters of Alex and Jess.
The show moved from Tashi Bourne and Helenna Barone-Peters’ wholesome synchronised swimming routine to a gruesome recipe by Ruby Blinkhorn’s Jamie Oliver in a way that reminded me of one of the jokes that you laughed at as children; a time capsule that had us laughing tenfold in the audience. The amalgamation of childish and adult humour blended perfectly with references to the nostalgic memories of childhood to create a stunning and charming show.
If you were lucky enough to get a ticket to the sold out show, I can assure you that it is simply Splashtacular.