Sing II

Date 28th May 2016
Society Urmston Musical Theatre
Venue St Antonys College
Type of Production Revue
Director Emma Harris
Musical Director Ed Nurse
Choreographer Emma Harris

Report

Author: Kevin Proctor

Urmston Musical Theatre (Juniors) have once again cobbled together a selection of showtunes to present a revue for this year’s show. Again, titled ‘Sing!’ as previously so, we were presented with a good selection of show titles, with two or three numbers from each to exhibit. Musicals of a fairy tale theme seemed to be a prominent motif with ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Tarzan’ with ‘Shrek’ to close the show and to kick off the proceedings, we were treated to three songs from the new Broadway smash; ‘Finding Neverland’.

Any revue show is going to be a lot more work than usual for a Musical Director and no stranger to this duty is Ed Nurse (as MD) who’d adeptly orchestrated this revue to work with a reduced number of musicians. What would have really benefited the production would be to agree on a key to suit the solo vocalist(s) for the chosen numbers as too many songs were not in a very complementary key for the singers which was a tremendous shame and frustratingly so for everyone. I appreciate this is yet another tiresome job to add on to the MD’s already long list but is definitely one that’s worthwhile to presenting a stronger end result for everyone.   

Although it’s not normally favourable to highlight anyone’s particular performance with shows of this nature, I simply couldn’t hold back from mentioning Chloe Chesworth who’s delivery of ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’ form ‘Hairspray’ was superb, very enjoyable and acted marvellously too. 

Choreography by Emma Harris lived up to previous standards and was exactly what I’d expected, this show had lots of movement throughout with everyone in the cast having a go which is always promising and encouraging.

Something I’ve said a number of times now is “attention to faces when performing” though it’s not something I’ve said so much to the junior section of UMT. The only time I saw smiles during this performance were when something felt awkward for one of the cast or if a small nervous smile crept in when something minor went wrong, although they were smiles for the wrong reasons they still did wonders in brightening up the stage – I only wished the cast would continue to smile throughout as it really did help us to enjoy and engage with the performance more. If the cast express their enjoyment whilst on stage, then we’re far more likely to enjoy watching it too.

We got a variety of experience amongst the soloists which is always welcoming. It’s heart-warming to see youngsters take on a solo number for the first time and shows like this are a marvellous training ground for such individuals.

The ‘Boogie Nights’ section was the strongest part of the show for the energy factor and ‘Shrek’ was the perfect choice as a finale with ‘I’m a Believer’ as a feel good curtain call.   

Dominic Smith has heaps of potential and over the last few years I’ve really seen him begin to blossom into a very competent performer but I’m starting to see his spark take a step back as he gets a little older, I genuinely hope he doesn’t let street-cred take over and get the better of him. I’d love to see him push on and hope he refuses to let mental barriers knock his inner confidence and put a halt to his incredibly promising potential.

Ed and Emma had both allocated assistants as support to their duties as choreographer and MD which I imagine would work really well for the process. It’s good for the youth to have different peers to work with and it also gives creative minds the opportunity to flourish which, again, is encouraging and shows like this offer the perfect opportunities for such arrangements. 

Yes, those faces on stage need to wake up and come alive with smiles and sparkly eyes to inject energy into the performances and would prevent the show feeling arduous at times but that aside this was a tight, well drilled and merry show. UMT have a stout junior section which I’d love to see showcased more in their main stage shows wherever it allows it.