Omigod You Guys!

What a wonderful production this was. Energy, teamwork, talent and creativity, constantly entertaining, what more could anyone ask of a youth theatre show.

Maggie Ayles as the leading lady was just dazzling. Strong vocals, expressive acting and bags of personality brought Elle to life so convincingly, that it was impossible to believe that Miss Ayles is only fifteen and living in Dorset. Alex Rogan played love-rat Warner Huntington III to perfection. Luke Southorn created a really sympathetic character in Emmett, and with oodles of integrity and charm, the audience could not help but love him. Callaghan - oily, suave and heartless and yet somehow irresistibly charming - was brilliantly played by Jamie Novell. Lucy Bone as Brooke simply took the breath away: she defied the laws of gravity and every other law of physics to sing and skip simultaneously, and held that contortionist position for at least two minutes - total respect! Kyle the Delivery Man is a real Jack the Lad – Harrison Burley’s interpretation was just so funny and self-assured, it was utterly brilliant, charming and entirely likeable; fabulous moves and a cheeky grin made him irresistible to Molly Thorne’s lovable and scatty Paulette and the audience alike. Georgina Mason as Vivienne was the perfectly sharp foil to Elle’s pink and fluffy presence, and we were so pleased when she abandoned her catty behaviour and changed sides. We were captivated by Harry Lake’s hilarious presentation of Nikos.

WOW had absolutely been whipped in to shape for this show: the girls’ chorus and Greek chorus demonstrated total teamwork with great characterisation and lovely dancing, playing real people rather than caricatures. The boys’ chorus were cheeky, charming, full of energy, great at dancing and were really on top of it; it was fun to see them taking part as inmates in the women’s prison. Everyone in this show worked hard without a pause, and working as an ensemble they were unstoppable and unbeatable. It was really encouraging to see the youngest members playing a full part in the production, and having been given something to do, they were doing it as well as the older members; everyone played as if they had a starring role.

Sean Roberts spoke his lines beautifully and clearly – and the audience really appreciated it. Don’t be afraid to moderate the American accent for some other characters, in favour of clarity, and control the amplification for the same reason.

So, whipped into shape they certainly were, but it was the audience who were left gasping at the athleticism and commitment in this challenging production. This was a terrific performance and a truly memorable evening. Congratulations to Martine and Heather, and the entire cast and crew – a real company effort.

Review by Slyvia Coates for NODA