Paul Johnson | 04 Nov 2014 23:22pm
Emus Showcase 2014
Erewash Musical Society Youth Group
The Duchess Theatre
July 10th 2014
Where to begin with my review of the Emu’s Showcase tonight at the Duchess Theatre? Perhaps I should start by saying that as Vice President of this group I might be regarded as being biased, but when it comes to reviewing shows I do so without fear or favour!
So having said that I will start by saying that the performance I saw tonight has to be added very near to the top of my list of best youth performances I have ever seen.
This show had everything. Great singing, often in harmony, dancing of a very high standard, enthusiasm and commitment from the whole cast, plus fun and enjoyment thrown in for good measure. The energy being produced by the cast on the stage was phenomenal!
This show has been constructed by the large and talented production team to allow all the cast to shine both individually and as an ensemble. There were some very large ensemble numbers from shows such as “O what a Lovely War”, “Fame”, “Les Miserables”, “South Pacific” and “Mack and Mabel”. There were many others, in fact so many that it is a wonder that they were all so wonderfully performed. These young people have so obviously worked very hard indeed over the past 6 months to learn so many songs and routines.
There were also some smaller numbers and a few comedy sketches, which were well performed. In my experience young actors often find comedy difficult and do not really do them well, usually due to timing issues. Tonight, however, this was not the case and the sketches were very well performed with good timing and comic effect and the audience enjoyed them. The classic Four Yorkshire Men from Monty Python and the “Over the Top Sketch” from Black Adder were particularly good examples.
The dance routines were stunning, both in their visual appeal and in the quality and precision of their execution. In some cases, I felt many of the cast were moving very close to professional standards. Although they were concentrating on “getting it right”, they were also smiling and showing that they were really enjoying what they were doing. Their enthusiasm and enjoyment of the dances was infectious.
In amongst the obvious fun there were some poignant moments as well such as the performance of “Something Inside so strong”, celebrating the work and sacrifices of Nelson Mandela, while “Memories from the Trenches’ brought home the horror of the First World War. The young cast sensitively performed both and I am sure brought a few tears to the eyes of many in the theatre including mine.
Considerable use was made of overhead projections and these were first class. They were impressive and appropriate to the scenes. Well done to the technical and creative team for an excellent job. The lighting plot was also very effective.
The band was small but absolutely right for the venue and for this show. Mostly the balance between them and the singers was absolutely right, although occasionally it might have been a tad too loud, but without a pit this is probably inevitable. The Band was Dave Dallard (MD), Sean Garavan, Jeff Widdowson and Matt Biddulph.
The production of the show was impressive and the large cast was well handled and movement on the stage was well ordered and good to look at. Well done to Alysha Gomes, Kris Cunningham, Carol Lawson, Dave Dallard, Chris Renshaw, Grant Walker, Chrissie Oakden, Andrea Kemish, Hattie Kemish, Katy Maclaughlin, Matt Biddulph and Jack Readyhoof. Add to that the technical and back stage team of Dave Martin, Ben Tennett, Mark Robbins (Stage Manager) Sue Cox and friends of the Society.
The 38 youngsters and the production and back stage teams have worked hard to produce a show of a very high standard. There were some outstanding individual performances, but over and above this it is about the whole company working together. So it is very well done to all in the company because it was them that turned the ideas of others into a rollicking good show.
This is a must see show and certainly a shining example of what a good youth show should be like.
- : user
- : 10/07/2014