Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Date 15th February 2018
Society Centrestage Productions Youth Theatre
Venue The Point Eastleigh
Type of Production Musical
Director Will Jones
Musical Director Nigel Finch
Choreographer Lauren Bonthuys

Report

Author: Mark Allen

A warm welcome, a glass of wine and local Civic dignitaries greeted our arrival and we took our seats. I had concerns about this show, and its adult content and CPYT being a youth theatre.

The band, ably MD'd by Nigel Finch was very good, set the scenes well and cracked on at a good pace, which was needed. The three lead boys (Isaac Lee as Tick, Joe Pelling as Adam and Hamish Naylor as Bernadette) were all engaging in one way or another and actually did very well with the subject matter. The three divas, were well led by Amy Marsden.

The dance routines were well thought out and choreographed by Lauren Bonthuys however not always executed to (I'm sure) her high standards, that coupled with a chorus not confident with their vocal entries meant that they were not overly audible and sometimes not at all. They looked, in places, under-rehearsed. (however this may have been a one-off to the performance that I attended). I have to say that there were times that the costumes that some of the younger cast were wearing left me feeling uncomfortable and the language could have (and should have) been changed. I know that the cast will know the words from school, however I felt embarrassed at times that they were being used in a youth production.

There are however lots of positives too. The difficult scene changes were done very well, and the lighting added to the bus's image, this being the main part of the staging. The costumes were bright and frequently changed, well done to backstage, stage management and costume departments.

I really do not like being critical. I am only too aware of the amount of hard work and dedication that goes on to put a show together, not only from the management of the society but also from the parents that bring their children weekly to perform. As such they should be encouraged and applauded for their efforts. The show was, in the main, very good, and a lot of fun, however the lack of diction from the chorus and the subject matter leads me to finish by saying sorry CPYT, not your best, take it on board and prove me wrong in Rock of Ages!