5th May 2016
Sawston Youth Drama
The Marven Centre
Type of Production
Author: Decia Ranger
A show with family relationships and values at its core may not sound like something that would immediately excite some young people, but this new musical by Elliot Davis, co-written by James Bourne of Busted fame and set in the age of rocket science suddenly looks rather appealing, especially when there is more than a touch of boy band style to the music.
The official synopsis tells us that Newman Carter, a world famous astronaut, mysteriously disappears in 1969. Forty years later, a troubled young man, turns up on his doorstep with a letter, which changes everything, for everyone…
Reece Bond gave a very confident performance as Logan Carter, the teenage rebel who rediscovers his family and helps to turn around the fortunes of the fictional town of Hope, Texas.
Logan’s father, David Carter was nicely played by Conor Caughtry. He did slip up at the beginning of one of his songs but quickly regained his composure. Well done. Ethan Sheridan did well to convincingly portray Grandfather Ned Thomas, formerly astronaut Newman Carter, whose place on the 1969 space flight was supposedly taken by Neil Armstrong.
Amelia Perry as Jamie Pack the sheriff’s daughter and mechanic gave a lovely lively performance. Congratulations also to Phoebe Poulter-Kerry and Khan Velioglu as reporter and soundman Claudia and Stuart. Two good characterisations.
A mention must also go to Sully Bishop and Rob Carter as Stan and Billy the two cowboys. Some good comedy acting here.
Esme Guron had obviously worked hard on her Texan accent, likewise on her role as the sheriff, which for the most part she played well. With experience I am sure she will overcome the self- consciousness which seemed to affect her performance.
With such a large named cast there just isn’t room to mention everyone. It was obvious though that the whole company had worked very hard on their lines and vocals. All the songs were tackled enthusiastically and there was some good singing. I did feel for some of the young soloists though as they struggled to get down to the low notes in the songs.
Despite the use of radio mics by the principals, some of the spoken lines, especially those coming from nearer the back of the stage were lost, which was a shame.
A tap dance seemed somewhat out of place but I confess I have not seen the show before. Maybe it’s in the script. Whatever the reason for its inclusion, this is a minor issue.
Well done to the set builders who did an excellent job, especially with the space ship, and to the stage crew for the smooth scene changes.
Director Gareth Furbank did an excellent job with this large cast and together with the musical direction of Clare Irwin, we were once again treated to a high standard of entertainment from SYD’s young performers.