National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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Starlight Express


11th December 2015


Facade Productions @ Victory Academy


Ormiston Victory Academy

Type of Production



Dave Watson

Musical Director

Helen Curston


Phil Ormerod


Author: Susan DuPont

Firstly to applaud the huge technical achievement on all fronts by Glenn Hewitt and all the team: the great impressive set on entry to the auditorium with the levels and slopes for the skaters, the videos of the races, and the lighting for atmosphere and excitement, but pre-entry we had  level crossings in corridor to set the mood. Those costumes especially designed and made by Costume World must be advertised into the public domain as outstanding. And not to forget Sophie’s makeup. And for the entire cast, the input from Skate Norfolk to tutor and teach skills hitherto unknown for this production to take to the stage.

The production team of Dave Watson, Helen Curston and Phil Ormerod should be congratulated for achieving the standard of acting, singing and dancing in Starlight BUT on skates, amazing!

A very large cast taking part in this production and all adding to the visual and sound impacts and important whether as support group or leader, and what an achievement for the school to pull off this standard of production, no wonder such a buzz with all participants.

As Rusty, Michael Taylor had the looks, the smooth tones and the excellent skating skills so that he could concentrate on the acting for the ‘steamer’. When paired with the Poppa of Elliott Hunter that duet was quite outstanding. As Poppa, Elliott astounded with the development and expansion of his singing range, and his big numbers just blew us all away, great! Anthony Mower gave a great impression of the strong ‘Elvis character’ Greaseball with his acolytes inflating his persona; and Josiah Blake certainly looked good and sang his way into an elegant Electra (and will be around as in year 10, whereas the others in year 13 will move on).

To the girls as coaches and partners in the races: Dinah (Tia Carey-Smith) had the vocal maturity and projection beyond her year 13, plus the skating skills to make the role seem easy and smooth; and Chloe Hunter (another year 13) as Pearl was a joy to watch with her easy mobility, the personality and the vocals to be a delight, and how well she worked in the relationship, duet, and skating with Rusty. Making up the quartet of coaches with their dance moves, good harmonies from Emma Greenwood as Buffy and Mia Childs as Duvey.

Support through racing with Red Caboose (Sam Plummer) and Flat Top (Yasmin Shoukry); and from year 7 two stars of the future in Reuben Elvin as Turnov and a very good Dustin from Ben Saunders. Comedy and timing plus vocals and synchronised movement from those four Hip Hoppers from years 8 and 9, good. And all other support roles!

The big scenes assembling for the races and the cheering and support throughout the tense video shots, the contribution to the many groupings and placings using the entire stage and slopes, the energy levels from all, the dedication to singing and movement, these are where the impact strikes for the full company who should be congratulated.