Alex, Alex and Alex oh my! Alex Dreaming: The Verdict

Molly B (Year 8), Chief Contributor

Lights, camera, action!  

Countless hours of rehearsing and memorising lines all came down to this. Helping out in all three nights of performance was an excellent experience as I got to see how much effort got put into making this play as enjoyable as it was. Adapted from the play Alice Dreaming, Mr. Tredinnick and Miss. Lindsey have executed a William Clarke special, called Alex Dreaming. The play is about the struggles teenagers face in today’s world as it revolves around the main character, Alex. Alex is trapped by the expectations of others and discovers that the only way to overcome these challenges is to escape into one’s imagination.   

In the Willy C adaptation, Alex is actually played by three actors; Samuel B, Breanna C and Sophie K all of whom are in Year 8. The three brought new elements to the character and left a huge impact on every crowd over the three nights of performing. Samuel B exceeded the audience’s expectations as he not only acted with his verbal expressions but also acted with his body language, moving in an intriguing form to capture the audience’s attention. He brought a coolness to the character making Alex a more endearing personality on stage. This raised the audience’s mood, creating an enjoyable environment. Breanna C was a phenomenal presence on stage as every little thing she implemented to her performance was relatable and charming. She connected audience members through even the tiniest facial expression or change in voice level. I felt the pressure her character was facing with every line she spoke. Finally, Sophie K. One of the most admirable performances was when she delivered many lines that alluded to tough concepts. Take the Parliament scene for example, where Sophie was pleading her case as Alex, and captured every emotion that you could imagine Alex would be feeling. Sophie was present and practically perfect in every scene she acted. Always positioning herself in a way that allowed her to connect with the audience. All three students assisted in the joyous cheers from audience members at the end of the play, and I couldn’t imagine three better people for the role of Alex.  

Let’s focus on the set, music, and costumes now. On a scale from 1-100, it was a 10,000. Stunning and purely magical, every new lighting feature added to the beauty that was Alex Dreaming. A mixture of different colours, materials, masks, makeup, and bold outfits left audiences stunned. All of which added to the complexity of the show. The cast had painted textures on their faces symbolizing different paths and situations for Alex. An incredible band also hid behind the multi-colored drapes on stage. Flawless music for each scene worked incredibly with different moods. A shout-out to Mr. Tredinnick on the piano, an impeccable talent whose skills only added to the brilliance of the show. The backup music made the play even more entertaining. Every scene was incredibly directed and wonderfully designed; it made the play even more exquisite.   

 An incredible moment occurred when the original writer of Alice dreaming showed up to watch the first performance on Thursday Night. Ned Manning is an Australian writer, actor, and teacher whose most well-known roles and plays include Dead-end Drive-In, The Shiralee and Prisoner, Brides of Christ, Alice Dreaming, Us or Them, Milo, Kenny’s Coming Home, and Close to the Bone. After the show, Ned Manning came and spoke to the cast to comment on how interesting it was to watch his work be brought to life in a different vision. He was complimentary of all the cast’s performances, the teacher’s cooperation, and the backstage crew’s efforts and added to everyone’s experience very positively.   

Regarding the storyline of the show. I would say it was intended for someone who could quickly interpret different themes and subjects. You had to be watching everything that happened in the play to be able to follow the story as some of the concepts were hard to grasp. The perfect balance between humour and solemnity ensued a relatable and classy show for all ages. Additionally, the play was a fun element for parents as all the cast portrayed moody teens a little too well….  

Speaking of the cast, the ensemble was perfect. They were all extremely dedicated to their roles and put 110% effort in. The side characters, Bec and Albatross, played by Joanna R and Sophia B were outstanding. Both gave the audience a loveable friend for Alex and established a beautiful friendship onstage. Sophia’s character, Albatross had an onstage death which was seemingly graceful, but according to cast members, had to be perfect in order to perform the ending. Spacing had to be correct for actors to continue with their scenes. However, each night Sophia pulled through and gave a raw and real performance creating a sad yet hopeful atmosphere. Sophia represented the Albatross beautifully and it was one of the most memorable performances during the show. Joanna’s performance was also excellent as she portrayed Bec in a way that gave Alex the spotlight but additionally gave the audience a cool side character to connect with. She was funny but also cool and was just another brilliant aspect of Alex Dreaming.   

Overall, Alex Dreaming was a spectacular show with brilliant writing and direction. All cast members, teachers, and backstage helpers should be proud and satisfied with their work. Thank you to everyone involved in making Alex Dreaming so delightful to watch. I can vouch, as from what I heard, audience members had an amazing time and loved everyone’s participation in making the show magnificent for them.