All Shook Up

Date 3rd February 2016
Society Big Bad Wolf Children's Theatre Company
Venue Falkirk Town Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Gavin Orr
Musical Director Jonathon Graham
Choreographer Sheila Mackie

Report

Author: Elizabeth Donald

Another hit from this talented group of 70 youngsters. The show shakes the audience up and has everyone revelling in Elvis songs. The story revolves around incomer biker Chad bringing his own brand of rebellion and love to a staid American town.  Parallel stories, two of young love and two of adult love, compete. Daniel Louis as Chad exuded ‘cool’ and flair. He delivered his numbers in strong voice and charmed with a combination of mischief and self- knowledge. He was first attracted to Miss Sandra, interpreted beautifully as a raunchy, petulant sizzler by Alexandra Kerr, and overlooked bike mechanic Natalie played precisely by Claudia Anderson  who demonstrated her talents in song and acting as she disguised herself as a boy. More conventionally, Heather Watkins played an innocent but determined Lorraine, and Lewis Dawson as Dean, conveyed the dilemma of obedience to mother or following young love. Luc Liddell gave an assured performance, with nicely comedic delivery, of Dennis trying to emulate Chad and be his go-between, then ending up finding his soulmate Miss Sandra. Meanwhile Ryan Young, earnest as Jim, Natalie’s widowed father, surfaces from his grief, tries to relive his youth before discovering that the acerbic but supportive Sylvia, played calmly by Eva Caie, has loved him all along. The surprise of the evening was the sudden dominance by Sheriff Earl of the hard-nosed bossy Mayor. It is to the credit of Ian Williamson and Kristen White that they pulled this off. Minor roles supported well. The storyline works but what really rocks are the Elvis songs and their dynamic delivery. Pit Singers and Chorus harmonies came across well and the Dancer Core impressed with their timing and agility. With fine voices, nifty footwork and clever choreography, a fast moving show emerged. The stage was well used, background scenes were projected setting the times and place, the Tunnel of Love and Fairground were well done and I just loved the bus. Costumes (and changes) for so many must be a nightmare, but all were in keeping with the era and some were spectacular. The cast showed discipline, confidence and conviction and created a wonderful show.