|Date||11th February 2022|
|Society||Crash Bang Wallop Youth Theatre|
|Venue||Forum Theatre Northallerton|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Andrea Rhodes|
Author: Jean Scarlett-Carr
This fun-filled musical was the first on stage performance for this group of young stars since pandemic, although not to lay quiet they had actually performed “Fame” to camera and streamed audience last year too, but their energy and joy was clear to see when performing for a live audience and getting great responses. The show is American cheesy but with a true message behind it, and the young cast performed so well to portray the story perfectly.
Elle is the cheerleading pink-loving daughter of wealthy family who only has dreams of marriage to successful dreamboat guy and is devastated to find he has other plans. So off college she goes to chase him and show she can be seen differently only to find she becomes different and actually prefers the new real Elle, taking care of others rather than herself
There were great character performances by the principals and lovely singing voices, along with energetic dancing and high squeals, but also the noted delicate background actions of chorus and cameos in restaurant, party, and shop scenes that makes the show so more interesting to watch, and excellent entertainment.
Leading lady was Georgie Rose, who as “Elle” was on stage in almost every scene, who sang her heart out, danced and never dropped, and never missed a word or placement. A really lovely leading role performance. Her heartthrob “Warner” was played by Joe Morton, who we have watched grow on stage and gave a great performance too. Character and singing were excellent with a powerful presence on stage that was lovely to watch. The new girl as the competition was smart and surly “Vivienne” who was beautifully dressed and played by Lauren MacDonald, such finesse and sassiness was great character from her and a lovely songster too. Mentor “Emmett” performed by Alfie Gibson was a truly heart-warming character role, the actions, emotions, singing and dancing again were terrific from this new talent, and his performance made great watching, creating the new person in Elle, and falling in love together. Alongside was Chloe Richardson as the effervescent “Paulette”, who was just amazing in her role, such energy, character, loud, confident, larger than life person who had the underneath sadness of a broken heart, yet brought out in others their potential, and who then found new love UPS man “Kyle” with such comedy too. What a fabulous performance, well done Chloe. Toby Davidson as Kyle was so funny and great character and movement, a lovely creative cameo performance. “Professor Callahan” is the mean, grumpy, arrogant hard-nut that the students need to impress, and Jack Turton threw himself totally into this part, looked the part in his dapper suit and hair, acted his heart out and whose facial expressions were so good, he was so believable, and then became the misogynistic sleaze and crumpled when stood up against, with a terrific voice too Jack, well done. Abigail Robertson played the jailbird “Brooke”, whose opening number in act II “Whipped into Shape” was amazing, she sang and skipped all the way through and never missed a note, so full of energy and right in time and some super skills in skipping ! In-mates with her made that number so clever and no entanglements – a great job girls. Legal Student “Enid” was a lovely energy character role form Robyn (Esther) Lane with a great voice too and such spirit. Friends and “consciences” Leah Chambers-Sims as “Serena”, Holly Hilton as “Margot”, Grace Crawford as “Pilar”, and Roisin Dunkley as “Kate” all gave great performances, dancing was energetic, characters were clear and sassy, and voices great in harmonies.
The chorus were just terrific too so full of energy and little characters each, singing and dancing was super full-on, and lots of set to deal with that they all did so well. The set was big, and scene changes were done well clever design form Dan Brookes and painted beautifully too. Lighting added great colour to the scenes with pinks blues and greens showing out, and some lovely spot designs too. Sound was strident at times but every word heard and against the fabulous 9 piece orchestra was well balance.
Congratulations on a great show CBW – great to have you back on live stage