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Catch Me If You Can - Koorliny Arts Centre

Reviewed by Jordan D'Arcy and Kate O'Sullivan

 

The WA premiere of Catch Me If You Can is a fun, excellently executed piece of theatre. Based on the real life of Frank Abagnale Jr., and adapted from the book and movie of the same name, the show follows Frank through his criminal exploits after running away from home as a teenager.


Director Katherine Friend has expertly wrangled the talented cast and crew into an incredibly polished production. The overall vision was very compelling to watch – the two-storey set gave wonderful depth to many scenes and provided enough space for the ensemble to bring the space alive to their fullest potential. A particular stand-out aspect of the show was the fantastic style-appropriate choreography. Not only was the choreography by Kate Leeder well done stylistically, but also extremely well rehearsed and clean. Additional credit should be given to the costuming, which was deceptively simple but incredibly effective - especially in the context of the quick changes required throughout the show.


There were some opening night teething issues but they were mostly technical issues the night we attended and will no doubt be resolved over the run. There were a couple of instances of being unable to hear either lines of dialogue or parts of songs due to the microphones not being on at the right time, or the volume level of the backing tracks being too high against some of the quieter moments. From a lighting perspective, there were a few instances of actors missing their marks and being out of their spotlights, sometimes due to set pieces being moved to the incorrect positions.


As expected, Joshua Firman was a strong lead as Frank Abagnale Jr., with a consistent performance across the show. Juxtaposed against Joshua, Chris Gerrish gave us a compelling and layered performance as the uptight, workaholic FBI Agent Carl Hanratty. Matilda Jenkins' rendition of "Fly, Fly Away" as Brenda Strong was heart-breaking, and a real emotional highlight in a high-energy show. A special mention must be given to Rp van der Westhuizen for his comedic relief as Agent Johnny Dollar, and to Saoirse Gerrish in her numerous smaller roles (these reviewers were big fans of Cindy and Diane). It was evident that the entire cast was having an absolute blast on stage, and that energy infected the audience as well.


This show was a joy to see and certainly highlights what the Perth theatre community has to offer. Well worth a trip down to Kwinana, and a must-see for musical theatre lovers.


Dylan Randall (Agent Cod), Chris Gerrish (Carl Hanratty), Rp van der Westhuizen (Agent Johnny Dollar) and Murray Petrone (Agent Tod Branton). Image by Curtain Call Creatives.

Reviewer Note: Kate and Jordan have both previously performed at Koorliny Arts Centre. Tickets for this review were provided by the theatre company.

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