A musical theatre show is always a must in the calendar of a theatre lover, and after a warm welcome at the door, the audience were in for a treat.
The Company put together a very well thought out programme of musical favourites, but also included some less well known but equally deserving songs. The staging was kept simple which kept the showing flowing, and cast changes were sleek and went without a hitch.
The show began with ‘A Million Dreams’ sang by David Lambert and Gilly Thompson with wonderful support from the ensemble, this was an easily recognizable winner to begin with. The trio of songs from Les Misérables were well performed with a passionate delivery of one of my personal favourite songs, ‘On My Own’ by Abi Frost. Steve Sheppard treated us to a remarkable performance of ‘Bring Him Home’, hitting the high notes perfectly and his later rock opera performance of ‘Hot Patootie’ and ‘Bat Out of Hell’ raised the tempo and could give Meatloaf a run for his money! This was ably followed on by Lilly Smith whose powerful rendition of ‘Gimme, Gimme’ was very confidently performed and in Act 2 her performance of ‘Burn’ from Hamilton showed her versatility and ability to both sing and perform beautifully.
Another trio of songs came from Niamh Donnelly singing ‘Say The Word’, who also sang ‘The History of the Wrong Guys’, giving a nod and a wink to the guys who didn’t quite make the grade! Niamh Carding won the comedic performance award of the night with her excellent ‘Back to School’, also pulling out all the stops for her version of ‘How Did We Come To This’, while Emma Swain showcased her voice with ‘No-one Else’.
The award for ‘sexy and sassy’ goes jointly to Katie Wallett (Big, Blonde and Beautiful) and Katy Thomason-Stewart (When You’re Good to Mama), ladies you rocked!
Alexandra Severn brought my favourite song from ‘Hairspray’ to life – ‘Good Morning Baltimore’ and Louise Colohan gave the ‘9 to 5’ song ‘Get Out, Stay Out’ the powerful vocals that it needed to get the song’s message across.
My person favourite section of the evening was the ‘Rocky Horror’ section. What a way to begin Act 2. Russel Caulfield, you are Frank N Furter! What a performance! Any man who can walk better than me in heels has my vote, but your confident stage presence and absorption into the role made it a joy to watch. This led into ‘The Time Warp’, the ensemble can be very pleased with themselves, it was very well executed, and we must give a mention to the choreography through the whole evening co-ordinated by Vanessa Cockburn, the movement qualities and dance routine were beautifully done.
The whole evening was a complete success and Bradley Snelling did an excellent job of producing, directing, as well as performing in this impressive appreciation of musical theatre.
This show has a short run at Woodford War Memorial Community Centre, it is only on until the 27th November, so don’t miss out, follow this link to buy your tickets – https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/awmtc
Reviewer: Caroline Worswick
Reviewed: 25th November 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★