National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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Disney’s “High School Musical”


18th March 2012


Riverside Theatre Company


Millennium Centre,, Buckden

Type of Production



Claudia Calardo

Musical Director

Jo Ryan


Author: Don McKay

Riverside’s set for “High School Musical” was excellent, with good use of reversible trucks, and managed very well by Kevin Rawlins. The Lighting by Chris Glenton, Matthew Watson and Jonathon Thompson was also very good indeed. The Sound by Scott Andrews, after a bit of a shaky start with some spurious clunking noises, soon settled down and was good throughout. The pre-recorded music was well cued and at a good sound level with the live vocal performances. The Choreography had pretty good movement throughout, but had a tendency to be a bit repetitive. “High School Musical” is the story of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back again, all set against the backdrop of a modern day American College Campus. We had Cheerleaders, Basketball Jocks, Geeks and popular kids, all kept under control by their long suffering teachers. I’m sure all of the characters were quite well known by younger members of the audience, having seen the films of the same title, but for some of us, this was completely new. The courting couple, Gabriella and Troy, played confidently by Leah Walker and Harrison Leigh, carried the story along nicely, with the aid of spoilt rich kids, Sharpay and Ryan Evans, played excellently by Molly Robinson and Harris Foulkes, I particularly enjoyed their duet. 
The rest of the ensemble performed with great enthusiasm and energy, especially in the Chorus numbers. The most outstanding performance was by Maddie Coomber as Ms Darbus the drama Teacher. Maddie is a terrific character actress and displayed perfect comedy timing.

I really enjoyed this show, and quite obviously so did the performers, which was all the more infectious for the most appreciative audience. Well done Riverside can’t wait to see the next hit!