Admin | 01 Sep 2021 14:45pm
Ariel Company Theatre Triumphs Back on StageReport Content
All photos: Stephen Candy
By R. Huntingdon
In a year, or two, that has had a significant impact on the industry, I took my seat with excited trepidation, after what seemed an age since I had enjoyed any live entertainment. The front cover of the programme shares ‘Welcome back to Junior Musicality 2021’, and I am reminded that the children and young adults about to enter on stage have not performed to an audience since early 2020. If I felt nervous for them, they must be feeling it tenfold.
But, by goodness you would not have known it! The 70+ cast hit us with a bang, in perfect harmony, for the Newsies opening medley, strong, confident and ready to show the audience what we had all been longing for, pure musical theatre indulgence. As the first act progressed, I had to pinch myself to remind me this was not a show, rehearsed and fine tuned for months. The cast, aged between 8 and 18 years old, had put this together in just five days and credit must go to all of the performers and production team for the high standards achieved.
With over 33 brilliant, fully harmonised and choreographed numbers, it would simply be too difficult to cover all of them, but particular highlights include 38 Planes from Come from Away, Right Hand Man from Something Rotten, My New Philosophy from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Run Freedom Run from Urinetown. The younger performers impressed with their energy and precise moves in Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins and had the house roaring with laughter with their brilliant characterisation in Life’s a Happy Song from The Muppets. I try to avoid picking out individuals, as every performer contributed so well, however I am compelled to mention Lara Nunns for her beautifully sung and played So Big/So Small from Dear Evan Hansen and Sophie Williams’ With You from Ghost. Both of which had me in tears. This was remedied by the hilarious characterisation of Noah Dawson as Beetlejuice in That Beautiful Sound and the whole cast in their foot tapping, life affirming rendition of the Rocketman finale, which sent us away joyous and ready to watch it all over again.
Sadly, I’ll have to wait for the next Ariel production but, at last, it might be something we don’t have to wait quite so long for again.
An outstanding job by all involved, thank you for sharing it with me.