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School Dance - Sydney Festival

School Dance
Jan 22nd 2013 | Dave Drayton
Think Weird Science, Freaks And Geeks and Ferris Bueller's Day Off and you're in the right frame of mind for Matthew Whittet's charmingly awkward laugh-fest, School Dance. Starring Whittet (a loser), designer Jonathon Oxlade (a loser in denial), sound designer Luke Smiles (a long-haired loser) and Amber McMahon (who covers the full spectrum of high school femininity), and featuring some appropriately terrifying cameos from Jack Wetere, this comedy-cum-anthropological documentary plays out in a school hall jam-packed with set tricks rigged for laughs.

Having already proven himself adept at playing people younger than himself (and an incredible clown), Whittet looks at home as this hyperbolic and retrospective of himself, and the cast do a great job of playing to their own quirks and idiosyncrasies to sustain a just bearable level of self-consciousness.

Gabrielle Nankivell's choreography is as hilarious as the characters attempts at social acceptance and Richard Vabre's lighting is almost as effective as a time machine. Much of the comedy comes from cliché and by definition the universal teenage experience is at its core the same, but while far from original it is irresistibly honest. School Dance running mans its way to earning a Judd Nelson triumphant sky-punching freeze-framed fist of approval.

We won't forget about you.

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