A Musical Wonderland

Date 26th April 2012
Society Lothian Youth Arts & Musicals Company
Venue Church Hill Theatre, Edinburgh
Type of Production Concert/Revue
Director Malcolm Burnett & Neil Lavin?
Musical Director Peter Robinson & Marc Mackinnon?


Author: Dorothy Johnstone

Choreographer: Louise Williamson & Fiona Jackson

This was a production of two halves. Marking the 20 year Disney celebrations, the younger members of the company delivered a delightful presentation of the Disney "Alice in Wonderland JR " a musical adaptation of the famous Lewis Carroll story. The 40 strong cast lit up the stage in the most fabulous costumes creating all the characters in this much loved story.The 3 Alices looked so good in their pretty blue and white dresses and were absolutely charming. The Cheshire cats kept the narrative moving along. The nimble white rabbit scurried about the stage while Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee were a humorous double act. A tall Queen of Hearts with a smaller King of Hearts were a perfect couple while the March Hare and Mad Hatter gave very mature performances. All of the Wonderland principals were top notch - I did really like the caterpillar! Singing throughout was lively and enthusiastic with " Zippidy Doo Da " bringing the house down. This production was in the hands of 3 of the older members of the company Neil Lavin, Marc Mackinnon and Fiona Jackson who made a great job of the production, choreography and musical direction. How encouraging to see such talented young people given the opportunity to progress from performing to forming a production team. They really did do an incredible job.
The second part of the programme "A Musical Wonderland" was presented by 40 of the older members of this youth group. Here we were treated to a selection of numbers divided into 3 sections entitled "The Moon", "In the Mix" and "Jersey Boys Medley". The entire programme flowed continuously with little respite for the cast who moved easily and slickly from one number to another. There were some wonderful solo and ensemble numbers demonstrating the wealth of talent in this company. The harmonious blend of voices of the 5 young men singing "Yesterday" was a real pleasure to listen to. The company singing was powerful and emotive particularly in "Unchained Melody" and in the finale when all 80 cast members joined together to sing "Beautiful Dreamer".The sound from the company was wonderful. Choreography throughout was exciting and obviously enjoyed by the dancers and company members who gave it their all in " I'm in the Mood for Dancing ".
As always, this was a thoroughly enjoyable evening demonstrating the amazing talent of so many young people. It must be quite challenging directing such a large cast but I know that this is one company who work very hard together both on and off stage to achieve first class results and they did! Very well done.