|Date||17th March 2016|
|Society||React Youth Theatre|
|Venue||Empire Theatre, Consett|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Ashleigh Harrison|
Author: Michelle Coulson
Summer Holiday follows the story of four young bus mechanics as they set off for two weeks of adventure in Europe and is jam packed with the hits of Cliff Richard and the Shadows.
With only a couple of boys in the company it was down to the girls to lead in the majority of the roles and they did this with conviction.
The four best friends who set off in their converted bus were led by Ashleigh Harrison as 'Don'. Ashleigh sang and acted well and was a convincing leader. Don’s friends were brought to life by Charlotte Parker as 'Edwin', Hannah Forster as 'Cyril' and Aimee Darby-Beddall as 'Steve' who all portrayed the very different personalities of these characters well: there was a tangible camaraderie between the four. The adventurers meet up with an aspiring pop group “Do Re Me” played by Lily-Rose Harrop as 'Angie', Lydia Burns as 'Mimsie' and Mia Tallentire as 'Alma'. The three girls did some really good numbers together and certainly looked every inch the 60’s girl band. The trip is turned on its head when a runaway unwilling pop star 'Barbara', played by Eleanor Grainger, joins them. Eleanor’s singing was very good and she completed the gang of eight perfectly. To finish the principal line-up along come two excellent characters; 'Stella', Barbara’s stage mother from hell, played by Victoria Simmons, and her browbeaten theatrical agent 'Jerry,' played by James Grainger. These two young performers embraced the comedy and worked really well together giving the audience some lovely laugh out loud moments. Everyone playing the support roles did well and there was good singing and dancing from the ensemble who all looked like they were thoroughly enjoying themselves.
The performers were well supported by a good band, an excellent set including a convincing double decker bus, good lighting and sound and the 60’s era was captured with costume.
This very young cast embraced the music and the era of the piece and their enjoyment flowed into the audience sending everyone out with smiles on their faces and humming the popular songs. Well done