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'The Voyage of the Jumblies' was top family entertainment

June 3rd
Review by Te Atapo Matthews

Imagine Theatre produced a highly enjoyable stage story with the family production The Voyage of the Jumblies at Motueka's Memorial Hall. The show was full of young talent in both acting and singing departments.

Acted mostly on a catwalk surrounded by the audience, the show, directed by Izzy Erridge, followed the family of Jumblies from Golden Bay on an adventure to find a wrapper of scarlet flannel, which the character Pobble was wearing when his toes went missing in Cook Strait. On the long journey they faced many challenges but also made new friends.

As to the cast, the Jumbly family gave the show real strength. In particular, Georgia Chapple, who played the boy Jum, was very strong and clear, while Ella Doty, the Jumbly Maid was delightfully expressive and interesting, capping off her performance with a superb rendition of the Love Story song aimed at her love interest The Dong.

Jessy Kaphahn, meanwhile, played Mum very maturely. I felt this portrayal had a nice, steadying influence on the show. Briar Smith-Waddell also performed well as Dad.

The Narrator (Gene Meredith) had a great presence, telling the story and all the riddles in a stylish and wise manner. The Dong, played with charm by Jimi Ward, also reached the audience with his humour and emotional side. There were technical problems in the song sung by the Narrator and Dong but both carried on well.

Also impressive were Philip Gibson, who created excellent mannerisms as the Turkey; Holly Barnett who played the Quangle Wangle with suitable attitude and was strong in her Beat It song, and Luken Bisley, the dancing Pelican King. The role of Piggy-Wiggy was small but was given much humour by Lorna Harris-Makay, and Heather Sinclair-Wentworth showed heaps of promise with the song Six Months in a Leaky Boat.

The show was enhanced by effective lighting, great costuming and a truly rousing finale. It was top family entertainment.

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