Lights Up After Dark

Date 2nd February 2024
Society Stevenage Lytton Players
Venue The Lytton Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Tom Beirne
Choreographer Jess Kolthammer


Author: Scott Welch

Lights up After dark is a variety show with an adult twist.  I did wonder how adult the show would be as the previous two nights performances were not adult.  For me I feel the show could have pushed the adult envelope further, I do appreciate that this is a personal opinion due to having a dark sense of humour myself, the second half did take things in a lot more of an adult direction.

The show had 18 performers in total, Austin Arnold, Di Barton, Adam Beckman, Tom Beirne, Charlotte Bull, Nikki Hamilton, Emma Walton, Katie Jenkins, Jess Kolthammer, Heather Lawther, Jason Morris, Stevie Musk, Richard Petch, Alice Rush Lydia Smith, Alice Smithson, Hannah Sorkin and Georgia Vary.  It is impossible in this review to mention each performer individually, however I will mention certain elements of the show that caught my attention.

I enjoyed the Couple’s therapy’s numbers, very well performed and you could tell some audience members were smiling as I am sure we have thought similar things in the past ourselves. 

Old School vs New School was a nice idea and very true, I did feel it was potentially too long, but it highlighted the talent on stage.

The idea of taking ideas from the audience and having a script written by AI and read by the cast, is a lovely idea and if the audience are on board (which they were the performance I attended) the ideas will lend itself to funny situations.  I feel this is something that could have been explored more, there was enough talent in the show that could have improvised and created ideas in a sketch a little bit like the games in Whose line is it anywhere, this would have given the audience a unique experience in more than just one of the sketches, also would have worked well in the adult shows.

The Shambles is a classic routine that I have seen done many times, usually with only 4 or 5 people at most, however this was with 9 people, and it was reasonably slick, I thought this was well done.

Six was a standout moment of the night and showcased the ladies well, congratulations ladies!

Austin Arnold compered the night well, I did feel at times the pace lacked, but this could have been due to the tabs closing after most of sketches rather than keeping it flowing.

The idea of a competition was a great idea, where the audience had to try and work out the three sketches that had been written by AI, unfortunately the audience were left wondering, which of the three sketches were written by AI as we were not told by the end, this was a shame as it really interested me.

I felt Jess Kolthammer did well with the choreography as is difficult to make sure everyone on stage shines in a show of this type and not stand out for the wrong reasons and I believe for the most, she achieved this.

Thank you to the front of house and bar staff for a lovely welcome and an enjoyable evening.

Scott Welch

District 9


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