|Date||31st March 2022|
|Society||VAMPS of St Neots|
|Venue||The Priory Centre, St Neots|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Alana Thackray|
|Choreographer||Emma Driscoll, Stacey Callier, Leah Sheldrick, Lisa Fensome and Debi Sheridan|
Author: Julie Petrucci
Compilation productions of songs from the shows run the risk of being predicable and repetitive. The potential exists for audiences to think that they have seen and heard it all before. Not so with this production. The content was excellent, with a varied programme containing songs from some of the old familiar shows such as Oliver and Oklahoma! to current West End favourites such as Hamilton and We Will Rock You, there was something for everyone. This type of production gives many of the company a chance to shine, and they certainly did. All soloists were deserving of their spot and it was good to listen to some nice harmony singing from duets, quartets and the ensemble and also to watch very effective but simple movement.
There are too many members in the cast to mention them all, but the thrill of being back on stage performing a show was evident and came across the footlights to encompass the audience. From the opening with Wilkommen from Cabaret to the final number You Can’t Stop the Beat from Hairspray the energy and commitment was phenomenal. I imagine everyone was laying exhausted on the dressing room floor afterwards.
The four-piece band were very good indeed but did overpower the singing when hand mics weren’t used. There was a problem with sound levels initially but that was soon sorted out.
Although I am not a fan of being blinded by stage lighting shone into the audience, happily that did not happen too often. Aside from that my main accolade must go to the exceptional lighting design. The staging was virtually non-existent but with a lighting design such as this it was unnecessary. The multi-coloured effect for the Joseph sequence was superb. I also liked the projections on each side of the stage depicting where the show songs came from.
The direction by Don McKay was good and it was obvious that Musical Director
Alana Thackray had worked the cast hard. The choreography by Emma Driscoll,
Stacey Callier, Leah Sheldrick, Lisa Fensome and Debi Sheridan, all of whom were also on stage, was simple but when you have a large number of performers working in a synchronised way it is very effective indeed.
This was my first visit to both a VAMPS production and the Priory Centre and what a super show with which to start my time as VAMPS’ NODA Rep. Thank you for the warm and friendly welcome and for an enjoyable evening. Congratulations to everyone involved.