SHE’S performed with Hugh Jackman – and now Perth actor Alinta Carroll is helping to bring a sensational Broadway musical comedy to life at the Subiaco Arts Centre this May.
Stephen Sondheim’s Company focuses on Robert who, after celebrating his 35th birthday, still can’t commit to a steady relationship despite wanting to share his life with someone.
Looking at how he interacts with his three girlfriends, and five married couples who are his best friends, Company was one of the first musicals to deal with contemporary relationship issues through its lyrics and melodies.
Sondheim is famous for Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Gypsy, among others, and Company won six Tony Awards – including best musical – when first produced in 1970.
Presented by the ICW Performing Arts Association (a charity that helps performers with disability), the team behind the successful productions of Oliver! and Les Miserables at the Regal in 2012 are back again for another year of shows, starting with Company.
Carroll plays Joanne, Robert’s oldest (and most-often married) friend.
“She’s acerbic, cynical and tends to observe and pass judgment on the relationships around her,” she said.
“Joanne is quite a departure from roles I’ve had in the past and I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“She’s a complex character and, although she may appear caustic and even cruel at times, she has a vulnerability to her as well.
“Musically, Sondheim is always a challenge, both rhythmically and melodically, but it’s enormously satisfying when it all comes together.”
Studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Carroll has been performing for more than 25 years in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, London, Germany and regional WA with a career that has included theatre, musicals, television, film and voiceovers.
After returning to Australia from London, she spent 12 years in the eastern states and appeared in the long-running musicals Buddy Holly, Aspects of Love and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with Hugh Jackman.
Carroll has been back in Perth for almost a decade now, performing at His Majesty’s, Regal, Playhouse and Blue Room Theatres, Subiaco Arts Centre, State Theatre Studio Underground, the old Rechabites Hall and numerous libraries and town halls.
“Company appealed because I’ve always been a huge fan of Stephen Sondheim, ever since my first experience performing in A Little Night Music at drama school,” she said. “His music and lyrics are witty, sophisticated, challenging and enormous fun to sing.
“I also have wonderful memories of the first time I saw Company at the Playhouse in the late ’80s, directed by the late John Milson and featuring Jill Perryman as Joanne.
“The musical, although written in the ’70s, has stood the test of time – it’s themes of marriage and relationships in all their forms are as relevant now as they were back then.”
Company is directed by Mark Barford and Brendan Hanson, matched with musical direction from Jangoo Chapkhana.
Hanson also plays the lead role of Robert and it comes in the wake of his tour de force performance as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables last year and coming sixth in the Channel 10 reality show I Will Survive.
“Robert is enigmatic while still warm and charming, trying to find his place and get clear about what he wants,” Hanson said.
Barford added: “I love a musical that can make you laugh out loud one minute and then tear at your heartstrings the next – Company is the sort of the show that can do that.”
Producer Ian Westrip described Company as one of the great Sondheim musicals with wonderful insights into the human condition.
“This is one of the most artistically accessible, thought-provoking musicals that can appeal to all,” he said.
Company plays at 7.30pm, May 1, 2, 3 and 4 with a 2pm matinee also on May 4. Book through Ticketek on 132 849 or at www.ticketek.com.au.
The ICW Performing Arts Association is also offering a special deal: buy two tickets for Company and receive one free ticket for the preview performance of Cats in July. The deal is only available by calling 0416 251 265.
The Subiaco Arts Centre is at 180 Hamersley Road, Subiaco.
Alinta Carroll, right, plays Joanne in Company with Craig Williams, left, as her third husband Larry and former I Will Survive contestant Brendan Hanson as the central character Robert.
ICW Performing Arts Association
People with disability interested in studying performing arts can gain access to funding through a charity established by a WA theatre veteran.
The Ian Charles Westrip Performing Arts Association was established after Mr Westrip saw the benefits performance could make to people with disability after he attended a Melbourne conference in 2008.
“I was convinced by the time I returned to Perth I could do something useful through my Stage Door School of Performing Arts,” he said.
“There have been some astounding results with children making sounds for the first time and people with disability going on to perform professionally.”
The association can help with funding for classes, performances and productions.
For more, go to www.icwassociation.com or phone 0417 969 984.
P: 0415 927 685
The Westrip Institute of Vocal and Performing Arts
The Westrip Institute of Vocal and Performing Arts provides full-time and part-time courses in classical vocal work, stage to screen acting, musical theatre and dance with an emphasis on practical experience in staged productions and concert work. It has been established by former WA Academy of Performing Arts lecturer Ian Westrip OAM at the Perth Modern School campus.
P: 0417 969 984