High School Musical

Date 20th February 2015
Society Stage One Youth Theatre Group
Venue Ferneham Hall, Fareham
Type of Production Musical
Director JacquiIvemy
Musical Director Dennis Brombley
Choreographer Matt Newman


Author: John E Thomas - Youth Adviser

Based on the Disney TV movie, this is a loose adaptation of the story of those star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Deftly capturing the familiar setting of high school, Director Jacqui Ivemy together with Choreographer, Matt Newman fashioned a bright, energetic and fun production that perfectly suits the Disney tale. Staged on a fairly simple set, with clever changes of props, the show maintained a nimble pace and contained finely structured scenes.

The story line was very interesting encouraging the youngsters to think about where their priorities lay. It is amazing to appreciate that so many of the cast are so young, very few signs of nerves and in most cases supremely confident in their own abilities. Dialogue was at times a little too rushed and the audience had difficulty in always fully understanding it and keeping up with the story. This was often simply because of the energy and enthusiasm of all involved. The evening flew by as the cast treated us to an exciting and lively production of this popular show.

The two main characters, Lily Wardale as Gabrielle and Georgie Cox as Troy were outstanding, singing and acting belied their youth. Phoebe Saunders and Declan Dali-Murphy (Sharpay and Ryan Evans) had most of the comedy lines, delivered well with good timing. Emily Collins-Wingate as Teacher Ms Darbus showed her experience with an excellent characterisation, a part quite different from her usual roles. This large cast gave several youngsters the opportunity for the occasional shining moment, far too many to mention them all.

The lighting, sound technicians and stage crew helped to make the show a great success under stage manager Grahame Willcocks. Musically, the band was tight and the bouncy score was kept well in check by Musical Director, Dennis Brombley.

I left the theatre with a spring in my step, humming some of the numbers a sure sign of an enjoyable evening. Congratulations to all.