Now That's What I Call Holy Rood

Date 26th June 2015
Society Holy Rood Stage Society
Venue Holy Rood Memorial Hall, Swinton
Type of Production Revue
Director John & Shirley Wilkins
Musical Director John Wilkins
Choreographer Shirley Wilkins


Author: Kevin Proctor

The title of this revue, with its spin-off of the quarterly chart compilation album, suggests to an audience member that the production would be a selection of modern/popular music when in fact the content was far more of an eclectic mix than that. We were indeed treated to plenty of recent tunes (which wouldn’t have been out of place on a recent ‘now’ album) as well as some 70s and 80s classics from popular music’s back catalogue and, of course, plenty for the musical theatre fans to indulge in too, a very healthy and refreshing balance.

The ensemble (the obvious core) of the society had plenty of exposure and were made use of at every possible opportunity whilst also showcasing the abilities of certain members who took solos, duets or fronted one of the ensemble numbers.

In terms of staging, with the amount that the full company were used I felt it would be an advantage to get a little more inspired for choreography patterns and formations as almost every company number was set out in the same formation which became somewhat predictable though one thing which cannot be denied was the joy coming across from so many members of the large cast, the smiles and passion were infectious making sure the evening was enjoyable for everyone both involved in and for those watching the performance.

It almost feels wrong to single people out whilst reviewing this type of production but nonetheless a stand out performance throughout was Ethan Wilkins who first of all gave us a rendition of the heart-tugging Christmas advert song ‘Real Love’. Eyes were drawn to him during many of the group pieces due to his level of input, natural stage presence and shear passion for performing which shone.

Joe Madden delivered a strong vocal of ‘Corner Of The Sky’ from Pippin. The number suited his voice style and range, not an easy choice which made his delivery even more impressive.

This was opening night and as is the case for many productions in our game was still finding its feet technically but this is something I’m certain would have been ironed out for the following performances.

Some of the numbers throughout the programme were performed to a live 3 piece band whilst others were performed to backing tracks, personally I prefer live musicians over tracks wherever possible but I fully appreciate that such a small band is only capable of so much and in many cases in this production I appreciate why the decision had been made to use tracks.

Costumes were kept simple making the best use of what people would already own or be able to get their hands on relatively easily.

A solid sense of community was the overall impression of this production, everyone was used and it was made sure that each person had their shining ‘moment’, nobody was relied on to carry the production which was an ensemble effort for the entire duration.

Many thanks to the committee of HRSS for your kind invitation.