REVIEW: Backwards Anorak Presents WINTER IS COMING

When you play a game of thrones, you sing or you lose…

By Margaret Wieringa

In hopes of getting work on the popular HBO series, a group of musical theatre graduates stage a musical interpretation of the television series Game of Thrones. Is that the plot or is that what is actually happening? Both, perhaps?

Crated and performed by Michelle Brasier, Vince Milesi, James Baker, Laura Frew and Leo Miles, Winter is Coming for this year’s MICF opens, appropriately, with the television theme played and sung with intense and hilarious gusto. We the audience are included as ensemble, though the real casting battle is between the five on stage. Who will be Ned Stark, Jon Snow, Hodor, though most importantly: who will be Khaleesi?

Winter is Coming

The war is being waged between the performers: the quietly spoken musician, James, (spending his off-time in the performance catching up on his Game of Thrones reading) and the understudies, Laura and Leo, but ultimately it is the two leads who must contest the final battle; Vince vs Michelle, and the winner will be the mother of dragons.

The show seems to break so many rules; but in breaking them, the humour flows. Often, the five actors talk over each other, and the hilarity comes in when a single line or even a single word is distinguished. There are “in” jokes galore, yet as someone not in the know, I felt included. I found myself laughing at comments without really knowing what was funny. Throughout the show the focus was split, sometimes up to five different ways. That shouldn’t work; but here it does.

And, don’t forget, it is a musical. The Music Room at Trades Hall is small, but these adorable performers fill up every space with their ridiculous antics, including some pretty impressive dance routines. The choices for the songs were at times unpredictable, including the duet of Khaleesi and Samwell.

Highlights? So many. The baby in the blanket, the dragons, the totally cringe-worthy yet magnificent representation of Tyrion, the foray into Narnia, the swordfight… If you have seen Game of Thrones, and especially if you love it, then you must get yourself to this show.

Venue: Trades Hall (The Music Room)
Season: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from March 27-April 19 at 10:45pm
Tickets: $22/$17

Bookings: or call 1300 660 0131300 660 013