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Kym Vaitiekus Shares his Thoughts on DUBBO CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING


Tuesday 17th May 2022, 7:30pm, Hayes Theatre.Kym Vaitiekus Shares his Thoughts on DUBBO CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

Dubbo Champinship Wrestling, a new aussie musical that's a king hit. Writer's Daniel and James Cullen under Sheridan Harbridge direction brings us a slam dunk, funny, toe tapping, raucous and heart felt new work.

Rose (Zoe Ioannou), a young girl who grew up in Dubbo with wrestling in her blood, has long ago turned her back on the family business and Dubbo's stifling small town ways. When circumstances lead to her returning to her hometown on the eve of Dubbomaina, the biggest wrestling tournament of the year, Rose is drawn into a monumental battle over family and identity, featuring capes, choreography, and some of the most colourful characters you'll ever meet.

Kym Vaitiekus Shares his Thoughts on DUBBO CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

Rose a country girl gone city, returns to the quintessential outback town to face a cultural clash, her family dynamics and a love hate relationship with a sport that touches her artistic heart. The drama seen on the wrestling stage is matched by the soap opera of her family life.

Her father Des (Terry Serio) is the enthusiastic blokey entrepreneur who powers on with his wrestling domain even though it's in dire straits. He continues his positive and hopeful attitude towards his estranged wife Cheryl (Bishanyia Vincent) whose intent is financial success at any cost. Cheryl aims to topple the Des's Dubbo wrestling domain with an American outcast star Ken (Aaron Tsindos).

Ken is the oddly talented wrestler that has had some success with his belief that's it's all real. When returning to Dubbomania, Rose rekindles her passion for the art of wrestling: the drama, the comedy, the skill and the passion.

She comes to relive the true essence of the sport: "it doesn't matter if you win or lose, what matters is if you believe".

Kym Vaitiekus Shares his Thoughts on DUBBO CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

The Cullen's script is a love letter to wrestling, to growing up country and to living your passion. It explores the world of wrestling: is it fake or real, why do we love the drama, does it use exaggerated stereotypes to push buttons knowingly or unabashedly.

This work examines the home grown aussie: our accents, the cliché characters, our sense of humour and best of all how we can laugh introspectively. The family drama beautifully parallels with the wrestling soap opera scenario.

On top of this is the instantly engaging and toe-tapping score. From the stupendous opening title number to the revealing, It's Still Real To Me, Bogan Blues and Ten out of Ten. The songs are one of the many wining signature moves this production has to offer.

Kym Vaitiekus Shares his Thoughts on DUBBO CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

Ioannou embodies Rose with a killer voice, she takes us on Rose's passionate, humorous and challenging journey with gusto and finesse. Serio is the quintessential Aussie dad, his Des is superbly cheeky, zealous and heart felt. Vincent, wickedly revels as Cheryl, the character you love to hate and are stomping for more. Justin Smith engages us as Ozzy, the long in the tooth wrestler that knows his game and his place it in. Smith's voice and timing make this character a winner. Tsindos portrays the crazy impassioned Ken with verve. Genevieve Lemon and Noni McMallum are an absolute wicked delight as the Tradie Ladies, a marvellous duo with slam dunk songs. Luke Leong-Tay plays the villain wrestler Ron, chosen for his ethnicity. Does this represent the xenophic choices of 1980's wrestling or is it chosen just to push buttons. Leong-Tay's Ron wonderfully shows us this double edge sword but at times he has the changeling task to convey story arcs with only a few lines of dialogue. These are moments that need expanding rather than just being vehicles to get to the next rumbunctious scene.

Kym Vaitiekus Shares his Thoughts on DUBBO CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

Harbridge has expertly bought this production to life, with comedy her forte. The wrestling and musical numbers are a stand out with the joyous choreography of Ellen Simpson. Harbridge has deftly intertwined all the marvellous elements of the Cullen's work.

There are some fluctuations with the script's approach. Some wrestling matches and moves are impressively traditional while others are cartoony and lampoon-ish, without a clear intention as to the variance.

Designer, Ella Butler has expertly created the world of amateur wrestling on the smaller Hayes stage. The look and feel hits the spot and is enhanced by Trent Suidgeest's lighting, David Bergam's sound design and with the musical arrangements of Joe Accaria and Glenn Moorhouse.

Dubbo Championship Wrestling is a home grown rock musical that touches the funny bone and the Aussie heart. Love or hate wrestling, this production will make you enjoy and relish in your response. See it for hilarious mayhem and for the impassioned Australian spirit.

Photography credit Phill Erbacker

Kym Vaitiekus Shares his Thoughts on DUBBO CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

Kym Vaitiekus Shares his Thoughts on DUBBO CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

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