Just when you thought almost every genre of novel from literary periods various had been adapted to film or the musical theatre stage, along comes CARRIE: THE MUSICAL. This Australian premiere presents the event which from its first version in 1988 has taken the challenge of bringing well-known themes from Stephen King’s first novel and the popular 1976 film version to the musical stage.

A solid team of creatives first helped this story resonate and levitate above the high school gym, home and prom decorations. So too, the Squabbalogic and Critical Stages production teams present this piece as a relevant entertainment which is accessible and satisfying.

Lovers of Stephen King’s damaged and broodingly dark characters will not be disappointed with Hilary Cole’s stage presence and vocal delivery as Carrie White. Her scenes with religious-zealot mother, Margaret (the always impressive Margi de Ferranti) are very rewarding.

A well-cast and drilled ensemble of stock student and teacher characters provide a charged and familiar US high school feel. Dialect work is mostly consistent in each character and scene to the required American region and the interesting score is comfortably sung. Shondelle Pratt’s choreography is economical but clever and refreshing in its expression of youth. As with all delivery and design in this version of the musical, cliché and the potential for elements being hysterically overdone are thankfully avoided.

This edgy and effective musical deserves the support of Sydney audiences. Its version does not contain weak moments or less than genuine performances, with many of the stars emerging from local performing arts schools.

For generations exposed first hand to the Stephen King franchise or not, this musical offers a sufficiently spellbinding list of musical numbers supported by a great contemporary band and slick special effects. When choosing your theatre outfit, please remember-white splatters…

CARRIE: THE MUSICAL is playing the Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre until Saturday November 30.