6th December 2018
Facade Productions @ Victory Academy
Ormiston Victory Academy
Type of Production
Dave Watson assist Rebecca Chaddock, Lucy Dalgleish
Zoe Bradshaw, Phil Ormerod
Author: Susan DuPont
Must applaud your very neat and polite ‘ambassadors’ front of house, such a good advertisement for the school on arrival.
As expected an imaginative and complex staging of the production and the congratulations are due not just to the adults involved but especially to the 17 stage assistants (and some quite small) who coped with complex moving screens and pillars plus the set furniture, quite a mammoth task in this multi-scene production.
A huge cast to manage and the division of ‘backing nuns’ into two doing alternate performances so that all who wanted could participate, plus a homeless chorus, shows the immense interest in being a part of this big school venture which takes over the Academy.
Both the music department on singing and the dance department on movement had worked really hard with these youngsters, the standard of voices and singing was excellent in a not over easy score usually tackled by adults, and the cast looked as though they enjoyed frolicking in their line-ups. (the band excellent as usual).
The night-club sequence with all those pink-clad dancing girls very lively and led vocally by Delores, Michelle and Tina (Maisie Simmonds and Amy Leeks) in a strong trio, certainly attack from the stage to open procedures. Great introduction to Olivia Gotts as Dolores, strong vocals, great personality and powerful approach to the role and great interactions, a role for her to die for/achieve. And very good interaction and contrast to the calm control of Liberty McCrohon as Mother Superior who wondered whether she would ever control the situations but quietly went her way. These two girls really did so well with their vocal numbers as difficult and their pairing worked in this story-line. Complimented by the likeable Monsignor O’Hara from Joe Taylor as he tried to keep peace and look forward.
The four main named nuns S M Lazarus (Heidi Carrington-Gail), S M Patrick (Alice Sage), S M Martin of Tours (Emily Helsdon), S M Theresa (Jasmine Clarke) all led the ensemble singing and routines with great vigour and individual character quirks so that the company numbers had great impact. And those big numbers with that huge chorus of black-clad nuns were something special as witnessed by the audience reactions. And as for S M Roberts (Izzy Girling): what a voice and what personality and convincing acting from this year 8, and we have many more years to her development from this portrayal.
I remember Reuben Elvin, Eddie, from his role in Billy Elliott (grown somewhat) and knew that voice would come through strongly and a nice likeable personality with impact in his numbers. Gang leader Curtis, Harry Lloyd, good acting and nice voice, good interactions and aggression. His three henchmen TJ Tyronne Stevenson-Ricketts, Joey Joe White, and Pablo Thomas Wilson-Gotobed were the perfect team in style, strong vocals, and especially movement. The numbers of these young men just stole the show and justified the raucous reception. There may not be much for the male casting in this show but these fabulous lads certainly made their presence known in style and showed up some of previous-seen adult productions castings into the shade.
Altogether the power of performance and the energy and talent always worked hard in this Ormiston Victory production, congratulations to all.