The Last 5 Years opened to a supportive and lively audience on Wednesday night at the Cremorne Theatre QPAC. Presented by Ignatians Musical Society, the two-hander featured fine performances by Tim Dashwood as Jamie and Bethan Ellsmore as Cathy.
The Last Five Years is a unique spin on the “boy meets girl” story, written by internationally acclaimed composer Jason Robert Brown. This Ignatians performance, directed by Travis Dowling and Musical direction by Ben Murray was a definite play on the actors’ strengths and a starting point for where this musical society can head for in the future.
The show began with a slightly rocky start vocally but as it opens on such an emotionally painful note, this could be forgiven. The audience were emotionally involved with the characters quickly as the pair began their interesting journey.
Tim Dashwood started his performance as the carefree and joyous Jamie and went on to play the specific nuances of the confident and ambitious writer in a lovely, warm and honest portrayal. He really was the stand-out in the show especially in his self-professed favourite song of the show ‘Miracle Would Happen’.
Bethan Ellsmore’s rendition of Cathy was cheerful and charming and she really did win over the hearts of the audience with her rendition of the hilarious “Summer in Ohio” which brought the house down.
The set was very industrial and scaffold-like with books towering the edges of the stage and bookshelves covered with novels. The simple furniture and lighting was effective in showing the past and present moments of the relationship by separating the stage gracefully.
The Final Song ‘Goodbye until Tomorrow’ was a special moment, which closed the show and left the audience in tears. Ignatians have created a great production which constitutes a lovely night out at the theatre and I recommend seeing these up-and-coming and coming artists in The Last 5 Years.
Playing until the 23rd June at Cremorne Theatre, QPAC.