Grease

Date 27th July 2022
Society Llandudno Youth Music Theatre
Venue Venue Cymru - Llandudno
Type of Production Musical
Director Anne Davenport and Kate Russell
Musical Director Philip M Jones
Choreographer Jenny Appleton

Report

Author: Jackie Titley on behalf of Lyn Emmerson

What a challenging, inclusive show to welcome back live shows!

The break for the pandemic caused lots of changes within theatre shows, performers leaving to continue studies elsewhere, getting used to changed rules etc. But it was great to see original members plus many new youngsters, technicians and backstage helpers. There was also a new conductor of the orchestra, Benjamin Payne, with Philip Jones continuing as a very experienced M.D.

For some performers it was either their introduction to musical theatre or now having principal parts. The show was lively and colourful with lovely musical numbers, very athletic (thank goodness it was a youth performance). Scenery was very cleverly used, scaffolding static but use made by division of groups with lighting, and well placed tables and benches.

Choreography throughout was great, the stillness to moving was carried out perfectly and really drew your eyes to specific movement; complicated hand jive, phew! Well done all. Entrances and exits were potentially very orderly; this performance, the opening one, pointed to improvement throughout the three shows.

Each character had a specific song as well as ensemble numbers. It was great for them to be given a chance to shine. Some of the numbers are well known and others are quite difficult to sing. Everyone gave a lovely solo performance. All of the “Pink Ladies” had a chance to develop their characters throughout. Typical teenagers showing a rotten side to newcomers to the school, Sandy especially, then unwanted pregnancy panic, boy talk, experimenting with drink and cigarettes. It was all there. Superb voices.

Boy, did the Burger Palace boys enjoy their swagger walk. I bet visitors to Llandudno wonder what is happening, especially with that and the American accents. All the boys displayed different characters, and also a cohesive group.

It was obvious that the whole cast loved wearing “authentic” clothes of the 50’s. I bet the cast and costumiers enjoyed sourcing/making them.

Fortunately, the stage was big enough to accommodate “the car”. A great scene along with the movie featuring members of the ensemble.

What I noticed first at the beginning of the show and throughout, was the ease with which you all appeared comfortable with one another. No social distancing, indeed quite the opposite in fact. Great to see after such an adverse effect there may have been due to the lockdown.

I am struggling to name anyone for their performance and also the beautiful singing voices as you were all very good without exception. A show is not made of purely principals but the whole ensemble, backstage crew and musicians, and I want to congratulate everyone for a renewing of live theatre.

The audience obviously enjoyed it, laughing, clapping and singing along, very encouraging for you on stage, I am sure. We were made very welcome on our visit, and the long journey was certainly worth it. The Company is well blessed with such talent, on and off stage.

 

Jackie Titley

District 1A

This is the opinion of the Reviewer