Disney Pixar Finding Nemo Kids

Disney Pixar Finding Nemo Kids

By Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Lindsay Anderson and Myrna Conn. Western Theatrics, Directed by Peregrine Carr. Koorliny Arts Centre, Kwinana, WA. May 23-26, 2024

Finding Nemo Kids is a youth theatre production from relatively new theatre group Western Theatrics. Presented by a dynamic young cast, it is running for a short season at Koorliny Arts Centre, sharing a performance season with sibling production Legally Blonde Jr.

As well as featuring a young cast, many of whom are making stage debuts, this was also an impressive directorial debut for Peregrine Carr, as well as for brother Ash Brady in their first Musical Direction. This team have dome exceptionally well under the mentorship of Stephen Carr and Nicole George respectively. Young Choreographers Aimee Clark and Alex Webb also step onto the chair for the first time, creating some strong routines that are well performed. Their mentor was Ash Winter.

Performing on a similar basic set to Legally Blonde Jr, playing later each evening, the two-tier set serves the show well. Simple decoration and projection (which is a little hard to see) add atmosphere. Stephen Carr’s lighting gives an underwater feel, and Jon Hoey’s sound design (the production uses supplied tracks) allows performers to be clearly heard. Costume Designers Kylie and Lizzie Martin have created original costumes that pay a nod to the look of the original animated movie.

Juliette Gandossi is very likeable in the title role of Nemo, and anchors the show well, with Hunter Caplin bringing a nice maturity to dad Marlin. Allegra Ong steals scenes as the forgetful Dory in a gorgeous performance.

This show is filled with lovely cameos, from the narrators Nigel, Spirit, Tiller, and Jib - Bodhi Nield, Bailey Girod, Grace Short and Abby Marshall, through the lovely fish at Professor Ray (Summer Felber)’s school, and the delightful residents in Sydney Aquarium. The shark self-help group are very funny - especially Zara Lam’s Bruce and the Sea Turtles. led by Brayden van der Waarden’s  Crush, are sweetly hip.

While many voices are obviously still developing, enthusiasm and a healthy dose of cute, make this a charming production. Lovely to see a company that nurtures young talent.

Kimberley Shaw