|Date||8th July 2018|
|Society||Magna Drama Group|
|Venue||Credenhill Community Centre|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Choreographer||Laura and Katie Gwynn|
Author: Louise Hickey
On an incredibly hot Sunday afternoon I had the great pleasure of watching the Magna Performing Arts Youth Group perform their own creation ‘Superpowers’. In true Magna/Betty Morris tradition, the youngsters brought their own ideas to life in this production about man’s detrimental effect on the environment. There were 3 vignettes in act one that tackled the loss of Snow Leopards, Rhino’s and Bees. It was well thought through and the young cast, all under 11, obviously understood the implications of the endangered species mentioned.
Interspersed amongst the vignettes were well choreographed dances which, considering the heat, were exceptionally good. The audience particularly enjoyed the tiny newcomers who were guided through the pieces by their elder and more confident fellow cast members. Whilst some of the new members were quietly spoken, making it hard to hear at times, they were forgiven due to their cuteness. The fact that every one of the youth group contributed to the dialogue, singing and dancing is what Magna do and it is wonderful that they are all given such an opportunity that it really enhanced the performance.
There were some older and new cast that deserved a mention. Meg has grown in confidence and has a stage awareness that is delightful to watch. She was always very aware of what was about to happen as well as keeping things flowing. Charlotte and Grace sang the Beatles song ‘Help’ which was so sweet. The company’s dance to ‘I’ve got you under my skin’ was graceful and quite beautiful. I also particularly liked the dance by Jess, Chloe, Alice, Emilia and Miyah to ‘Man in the Mirror’. It was impressive that 11-year-old Katie Gwynn replaced her mother Laura to choreograph three of the ten dance routines, which were wonderful.
It is impressive that Magna use backing tracks for their music and the young cast are so confident when singing along. Most of the songs performed were chosen by the cast themselves and they varied from up to the minute pop numbers to show/film songs which could be considered too old for the girls. However, Izzy sang ‘Never be Enough’ from the Greatest Showman with a maturity that belied her years, followed by John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. Great musicality and timing in both numbers.
Casey did very well with ‘Something Just Like This’ too as did Kaitlin with ‘This is Me’ ably assisted by Charlotte, Sian, Issy, Erin, Tavia, Emilia, Alice, Ellie, Chloe and Miyah. However, my favourite was the finale when the whole cast sang their hearts out to ‘Make your own kind of Music’. It was a fabulous end to a fabulous afternoon.