High School Musical JR

Date 8th July 2017
Society Inspirations Theatre Co
Venue Donut Creative Arts Studio, Chesterfield
Type of Production Musical
Director Gabrielle Mason
Musical Director Matthew Szadura
Choreographer Gabrielle Mason

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Author: Joyce Handbury

High School Musical Jr is a one-act musical adapted from the Disney film, High School Musical. It tells the story of Troy, the Basketball team captain, who discovers that the brainy Gabriella, a girl he met singing karaoke on his school trip, has just enrolled at East High. Their surprise decision to audition for the school show is thwarted, in the main, by the school’s leading lady, Sharpey. The show opens with children entering the auditorium, from ‘everywhere’ it seemed, enthusiastically singing ‘Wildcat Cheer’ before making their way to the stage. We then met Troy and Gabriella who delightfully sang ‘Start of Something New’. Troy was well played by Kian Mosely and his great singing voice was very much in evidence in his many musical numbers, especially his duets with Gabriella. Lydia Stone excelled as Gabriella, she so naturally represented the different aspects of the character and her singing was just divine.  Aidan Greenfield and William Cousins, as twins Sharpay and Ryan Evans, made a great duo in both singing and dancing. Both were ideally suited to their respective roles and Aidan, in particular, portrayed the diva aspects of her character with great panache. Liberty Young was so ‘theatrical’ in the role of Ms. Darbus the somewhat eccentric drama teacher. Her over-the-top mannerisms, gestures and her passion for theatre were all splendidly delivered. Great support came from those in the more minor roles and indeed from the whole ensemble. There are so many small scenes in the show but props and inventiveness enabled it to flow quite efficiently. It is so difficult when a society has a Junior section to choose shows that can incorporate the diversity of ages within it and I’m so pleased that, although this show is set in a High School, it didn’t deter the Directors from having really young children in the show and they, along with all of the cast, put their heart and soul into every number in which they were involved. I particularly enjoyed ‘Stick to the Status Quo’ and ‘We’re All in This Together’ the latter, definitely reflecting the ethos of the company. Well done to everyone involved in this production.