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Spring Awakening

25 June 2015 | 4:54 pm | Eliza Berlage

" Adolescents express their desires and heavy expectations of adult life as they come to terms with a need to be touched and survive."

It’s the ultimate tale of teenage angst. Kore Productions Director Sam Haft’s staging of this sexually-charged musical is an energetic reminder of youth and yearning.

Penned as a play in 19th century Germany, the depiction of sex, abuse and suicide meant Spring Awakening didn’t make its stage debut until 1906. One hundred years on it bloomed into the Tony Award-winning musical it is today.

The story opens as young German, Wendla Bergmann begs her mother to tell her of the birds and the bees. Such a request doesn’t fly and Wendla is left with less information than she bargained for (cue the first musical number, Mama Who Bore Me). We’re then taken to the young boys in their Latin class where Moritz Stiefel (Nathaniel Hole), a nervous and intense young man, stumbles his reading of Virgil. He’s helped by rebellious and intelligent Melchior Gabor (Johnathan Nash-Daly) before then confessing his recent suffering of dark, sticky dreams. Melchior reassures Moritz all young boys are haunted by such afflictions. From here the adolescents express their desires and heavy expectations of adult life as they come to terms with a need to be touched and survive.

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While Hole brings a tortured Cobain quality to his demeanour, more character immersion would raise the production from sounding a bit karaoke. Patchy microphones and a lack of balance between the vocalists and fantastic orchestra doesn’t help. Despite the small stage, the centrepiece tree and movable milk crates generate atmosphere and levels. However some instances lacked awareness of how the show would be viewed from floor level chairs.

From the lovelorn ballad The Word Of Your Body to the exuberance of You’re Fucked, this amateur production is a tribute to the excitement of this coming-of-age musical.