Review by Hannah Fredriksson
Ten Things is an original 90s jukebox musical adaptation of one of the most iconic American highschool rom-coms, brought to you by the amazing team at Adrenaline Theatre Assocation. The group started in 2020 to facilitate school holiday amateur theatre workshops for teenagers, aiming to create an inclusive environment that encourages kids to have fun and get involved at any skill level. Co-founder Harriet Wimhurst created, directed and choreographed this joyous adaptation starring some amazing kids.
Based on Ten Things I Hate About You, which in turn is based on Shakespeare’s Taming Of The Shrew, the story begins when Cameron James starts attending his new school. He instantly falls for Bianca Stratford, but her cautious father won’t allow her to date unless her unruly sister Kat Stratford dates first. Cameron then convinces the popular Joey Donner (who is also into Bianca and therefore has a vested interest in Kat’s dating life) to pay Patrick Verona to take Kat out, since Patrick is the only person who could possibly tame her. At first he does it for the money, but then he falls for Kat as she starts to become more vulnerable with him. At first she is hurt, but then of course we end with the famous scene where she reads out her moving poem assignment in class admitting that she doesn’t hate him at all.
Lizzie Martin plays Kat Stratford, and she perfectly embodies the grungy angst of the character, belting out “Bad Reputation” and “I’m Just A Girl” and completely captivating the audience.
Javier Shoosmith plays the brooding outcast Patrick Verona and Sage Munslow-Davies is an excellent Cameron James. The unlikely duo’s duet of “Iris” was so moving it gave me chills!
Brooke Walker is slick, suave and confident as Joey Donner, and Levi Lundy is hilarious as Cameron James’ best friend Michael Eckman.
Tonight’s performance happened to be a celebration of the understudies. In many cases, understudies don’t get the chance to play the major role they have spent time memorising and rehearsing unless the lead is unable to perform, however Adrenaline decided to devote one night to letting all the understudies shine.
Imogen Guppy was tonight’s Bianca - she felt so natural in the role, hitting wonderful high notes in her solo for “I’m Not A Girl” and the sisters’ duet “Don’t Speak”.
Abby Clarke and Kiara Fry both shone in their roles as Bogey and ‘Performer’, showing some great vocal chops in their high-energy solos.
As a 90s kid myself I found it really amusing to see a group of Gen Z kids performing the songs I grew up listening to on the radio - I forgot for a minute that we’re in 2023 and they ought to be listening to Lizzo and Harry Styles on Spotify!
Despite some technical difficulties with mics, the cast did an amazing job and showed that they have amazing vocal talent and comedic timing - I can’t wait to see how they grow and what Adrenaline Theatre Association brings us next!