Whistle Down The Wind

Date 9th June 2015
Society Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre
Venue Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen
Type of Production Musical
Director David Ward
Musical Director Ben Torrie
Choreographer Rhonda Scott

Report

Author: Douglas J Clark

This talented group of youngsters moved away from the musical comedy genre of the last two years to tackle Andrew Lloyd Weber and Jim Steinman’s almost operatic “Whistle Down The Wind” – operatic in that the story is told through the songs with very little spoken dialogue. Ellie Donald was outstanding as Swallow, the eldest of the 3 children at the centre of the piece. Robbie Scott as Jesus Christ/The Man gave an excellent, strong performance - his duet “The Nature of the Beast” with Swallow being an example of this. Hamish Somers as Amos, torn between his love for Swallow and his desire to escape the small-town attitudes with the sassy, strong-willed Candy (a perfect portrayal by Kirsty McNaughton) gave another strong performance. Calum Armstrong  as Boone, the father of the family at the centre of the story, gave an excellent performance of a man struggling to cope with his growing children after the early death of their Mother - beautifully expressed in his rendition of “If Your Mother” in Act2. Strong performances were also given by Hannah Ironside and Callum Adams as his other two children Brat and Poor Baby – the latter having some delightful one-liners! The contrast between the children’s innocence and happiness at the discovery of “Jesus” and the grown-ups’ prejudice and fear of the escaped prisoner “The Man” was never so well defined as in the performance of the children’s “No Matter What” in the Act 1 finale and the mob’s “Now The Noose” in Act 2. The ensemble singing was first class as shown in the opening number “Keys to the Vaults of Heaven”. Company movement was very good and I was particularly impressed with the line dance in Act 1 Scene 6 which involved virtually all the 55 cast members! The specially designed set by Susan Ball transformed with ease from the dark confined atmosphere of the barn to the bar to outside space, meaning the action flowed without pause between the scenes. Well done to everyone involved in this outstanding production.