The WOW Show

Date 21st November 2019
Society WOW Youth Musical Theatre
Venue Weymouth Pavilion Theatre
Type of Production Concert
Director Martyn Knight
Musical Director Sam Ryall
Choreographer Martyn Knight

Report

Author: Sylvia Coates

The addictive music from ‘The Greatest Showman’ instantly drew us into the wonderful world of WOW: smart and smiling, the entire company worked as one, with an overwhelming and rousing positivity. Soloists were strongly focused, leading even the youngest to perform at their very best;  the powerful ‘Never Enough’ was sung skilfully and with great passion.

Fun was the focus as we entered the Roaring Twenties, beginning with two sweet duets and a jaunty dance number; there was amusing interaction between characters and a trio with a very smart routine; the impressively high kicks performed in the Varsity Drag took our breath away, while the singing remained flawless.  The well-organised and wheeling company dance item added a touch of whimsy.

WOW fizzed with energy as they explored Eurovision, beginning with more than ‘Just a Little Bit’ of glitz and a glamorous trio of blonde bombshell pop dancers; a barefoot puppet; a cheeky dance routine; a very smiley Jack-in-the-box; a good-looking quartet with a quirky routine full of all the energy and corn we expect from Eurovision and finally a heart-warming message, powerfully delivered.

Bursting with energy and enthusiasm, the full company powered through the final section of Act One, which also featured two strong trios and a charming duo to lead the bright and invigorating finale number.

The earthy tribal rhythms of ‘The Children of Eden’ pulsed through the feel-good opening of the next section, as the sandal-clad Ensemble transported us to the desert, before moving into the bright and airy Ensemble medley of American songs in the ‘Sing Something Simple’ style.  Everyone had their chance to shine, before the big upbeat finish.

The retro theme continued, with performers committing themselves completely to the songs and atmosphere of ‘The Jersey Boys’; with movement and costume typical of the 1960s, ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’ was a particularly bright spot; the company dance downstage and their slick exit from the scene was cleverly arranged; the quartet had totally committed themselves to the characters and movement of 1960s singers, and with the addition of a glitter ball the atmosphere was complete, as the pop-style dancers remembered ‘December 1963’.

If energy levels were high before, the finale section was off the scale, as the Ensemble threw themselves into the songs and antics of ‘Priscilla’.  ‘It’s Raining Men’ was led by a joyful trio, the boys greatly enjoying their dance moment, and exploring their feminine side in ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’, the girly girls and girly boys all exuding a terrific energy and sense of fun, with beaming smiles all round, until the final blast of the confetti cannon.  

Particular highlights of the programme were: the sensitive rendition of ‘The Hardest Part of Love’, gently and powerfully delivered; ‘Maybe This Time’ with its well-modulated, strong emotional expression, full of colour, light and shade; and ‘A New Life’ from ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, the mature, soft texture of the voice expressive and spine-tingling.  

WOW participants consistently achieve high energy, commitment and positivity in performance, and this was an excellent showcase of your skills.