Crescendo

Date 19th November 2021
Society Middlesbrough Youth Theatre
Venue Middlesbrough Theatre
Type of Production Concert
Director MYT Leaders
Choreographer MYT Leaders plus Katie Lowe

Report

Author: Jean.Scarlett-Carr

It was my pleasure to attend The Middlesbrough Theatre to watch MYT come back to the stage after the enforced pandemic break from 2019 with a review show “Crescendo” to showcase their talents, and oh my word, how they certainly did!

This show had all the elements of talent from so many young people that it was a joy to watch unfold. The variety of pieces from beautiful solo voices, choral harmonies, solo dancers, ensembles, full chorus choreographed numbers, solo recitals, group drama pieces meant the programme was wide and varied and jam packed with exiting and adorable performances.  The cast of young performers were 70 members of MYT plus 25 members of Kidstage, who, somehow, all fitted onto the stage at one point in astonishing precision performance that shone with their delight and excitement to be on stage once more where they belong.

Staged with an open set with rear rostra and back star cloth, allowed atmospheric beams of lighting,  creatively shining out onto the auditorium walls and effective colours, clever changes, creating moody scenes to full dazzle with terrific lighting design from Chris Train.

The programme had 25 named pieces but included medleys too so even more in reality that showcased these performers in their talents so well.
Opening and closing each act were large group musical numbers starting with “Nicest kids in Town” from Hairspray with great vocals and pizzazz from Connor Smith and whole group choreography completely in unison, polished, slick and precise.  Younger element of the group “Kidstage” in coloured t shirts, did a delightful medley of songs from Seussical with fabulous energy and creative choreography for their numbers, featuring soloists Amelie Manton, Ella Maughan, and Niamh O’Riordan who had amazing young voices, along with the delightfully younger chorus who sang beautifully too, to give a closing number to the first act, that melted everyone’s heart with the energy and their excited faces, what a joyous way to go into interval.  Act II opened with a medley from Cats as a preview of their next production, dressed in black, danced with such detailed accents in their movements and so expressive, making it really exciting to see what’s to come in the full show next time.  Show Finale was a Queen medley with highlights of talents from the soloists - Eva Applegarth and Alex Hainsworth led with wonderful duet of “Killer Queen”;  Isobel Johnson and Daniel Yellow gave a fabulous duet of “Crazy little thing called love”; James Oliver taking lead in “We are the champions” was superb, Jack Robinson Niall Murphy and Jamie Winspur trio of leads in “We will rock you” was great, full of attitude, plus the full company of 96 young people with incredible talent to performing together was quite fabulous to watch.

Throughout the evening were soloists singing with such super performances across a range of styles.  Lucie Black as she sung “Now that’s what I call a dream” from Bonnie and Clyde, was a super piece, beautiful voice with lovely expression and power to her voice, excellently performed piece.  Solo from Robbie Davies “My eyes Adore You” from Jersey Boys,  had a super voice with gorgeous smooth tone, and lovely expression when singing. Song choice from Eva Newell, “Dance with You” from The Prom was a terrific solo, very characterful and great voice for s stunning performance.  Comical song performed by Jamie Winspur singing “Grow for me” from Little Shop of Horrors, who sang with great expression and super voice was a great number.  New song for me was by Georgia Lumb, who has fabulous voice, and had great expression as she sang “Home” from the show Beetlejuice.  Stunning solo song “With you” from Ghost was sung by Izzy Hall who had an amazing voice to sing such a difficult song with great performance and expression, a real treat to watch, and Lacie Conway sung her solo “Quiet” from Matilda with terrific talent, a real one to watch in future. Smaller ensemble songs showed the skills of stage craft with “Our Time” musical number from Merrily we Roll Along, - unknown to me – with 4 soloists who all had great voices Robbie Davies, Lucie Black, Izzy Hall, Mary-Kate Bousfield, plus lovely harmonies for group members. A chorus group of “Giants in the sky” from Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim so technically difficult and yet terrifically performed by the younger cast with wonderful harmonies and timings, and small ensemble group of 11 cast singing “Eliza” from Hamilton was amazing to hear lovely harmonies, and all the time moving to music around the stage.

Dance soloists performed through the programme too, so amazing to do for a young performer to such an audience. A beautiful contempery dance solo came from Emily Felgate, who danced with such a variation of steps and gymnastics and was so very expressive -stunning performance! Dance solo from Chicago by Chloe Allport with “I can’t do it alone” was terrific, full of energy, delightful dancing, and with great voice singing throughout, amazing performance!  A 4 piece dance ensemble contempery piece with James Oliver dancing between Emily Felgate, Chloe Allport, and Lily Goldspink in a beautifully choreographed piece, was an absolute treat to watch as all four were fabulous. 

The programme was also punctuated with drama from monologues including Jessica Black as “Alice in Wonderland” in traditional costume –a well presented piece, every word clear and very expressive characterisation, and short prose monologue by Rose Miller with great diction and expression, and a dry comedy monologue from Sophia Bowe telling with pan face of varying medical ailments how she “had that once”, with terrific timing.  Various group dramas too from the trio witches from Macbeth, Act IV scene 1 recounting the ingredients of their spell, cleverly moved throughout and great characters from  Lucy Richards, Grace Neal and Jordanna Mason;  to comedy sketches “Coal miner’s daughter” parents coping with daughter to marry the Mayor’s son; “The Acting workshop”, comedy sketch of masterclass for 9 members and their teacher using the one line “to be or not to be” lead role great characterisation, class line up all different characters well shown; and a drama piece set in a funeral parlour comedy sketch of minister with older couple, and younger mother and her irreverent teenager.

At the final curtain there was a knowledge in the audience – our future theatre is in great hands !
Congratulations MYT another stunning show. Well done to all - cast, technical crew, and especially the leaders, in their skills in nurturing such a bundle of talents.