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The Call

Anna Hicks, Naomi Matheson and Craig Gunton on stage in The Call. Photo by Kenneth Aberdeen

Not all readers will be familiar with the Indooroopilly Uniting Church congregation’s reputation for staging original musicals.

The tradition dates back decades, at least as far as Noah, Build a Boat!

The Call is the latest production, written and directed by Tony Pitman.

The musical director was Rev David MacGregor who wrote the songs along with Naomi Matheson, Scott McClement and Eric Woodrow with Cathy Gunton doing the choreography.

Set in a Lifeline-style call centre where staff make a particular point of listening and never giving any advice, The Call delves into the nature of communication and relationship.

The Third Monkey (speak no evil) Call Centre develops a market niche but faces budget cuts and reduced resources.

So the staff decide callers won’t know if no one is actually listening, because they’ve never said anything in reply, anyway.

Eventually the callers meet each other and go to the call centre to confront the staff and disconnection is overcome.

Mr Pitman speaks in general terms of listening to one another with justice and love.

To describe this musical as ambitious would be an understatement.

It is either vague or multi-layered depending on one’s confidence in interpretation.

This reviewer was left wondering about the nature of Christians who boast about listening in order to understand the world, but actually have nothing to say.

There were questions about prayer that never expects an answer.

If the call centre in any way reflected the church I was quite challenged by the removalists stripping away the resources.

The initial response of the staff was to rejoice in newfound freedom.

The Call was not a family musical.

Perfectly designed for performance in the round, it deserves to be staged at La Boite or a similar theatre where the 19 cast members could do justice to their gymnastic choreography and a large audience could delve into The Call.

Reviewed by Phil Smith, guest writer for Journey

Photo : Anna Hicks, Naomi Matheson and Craig Gunton on stage in The Call. Photo by Kenneth Aberdeen