"...surpassing every expectation..."
If there was a special youth theatre edition of Britain’s Got Talent then I have no doubt the Spotlight kids would win it, for once again, they have triumphed with a spectacular show, surpassing every expectation, cramming in just about as much talent and love that is humanly possible onto one stage.
Within the first minute I was captivated with a big old grin on my face, knowing this was going to be a good one. This was a re-work of a previous 2011 performance by the same group, written by the creative team and based on a concept by Spotlight Chairman, Steve Groves. The story, with a clever Halloween haunted-house theme, featured a healthy sprinkling of panto magic and, to be honest, was rather a refreshing alternative to the same old fairy tales we are offered from year to year.
The show featured dressed up Halloween characters (the monsters), an unsuspecting family and a bunch of rather good-looking resident ghosts. The costumes and make-up, especially the ghosts, were seriously good, with wonderful wiggery and excellently designed faces that complimented each character’s individuality and personality.
The sixteen, triple-threat principals professionally maintained an energy and commitment throughout. Even with around 20 songs and dance routines to perform they were as fresh at the end as they were at the start (or appeared so!).
Mum and dad, Joy (CHARLOTTE HAM) and Fred (MATT WINDSOR), played brilliantly together. Joy, the stressed-out mother who doesn't want to join any ghost-busting mission and the intuitively inquisitive Fred who does, arrive at their late Uncle’s house to hear the reading of the last will and testament. Seymour, the rather frail butler (KIERAN BANNER) tries to contain the chaos that ensues as Joy and Fred’s sweet and unassuming daughter Jill (CHARLOTTE FARMER) falls for the butler’s cheeky son, Jack (BEN WALKER).
Joy’s rather naughty sister, Cruella (CHARLOTTE GOUGH), wants the house for herself. She unleashes a spooky plan to scare the other family members away by recruiting local actors to play the parts of Frankenstein (CALLUM STEED), Immy (JESS CAVILL), Drake (KIMBERLEY BECKETT) and Luna (NATASHA PEARCE). But the real resident ghosts – Uncle Ted (WILLIAM HEATH), Nicky (BECKY CARTWRIGHT), Long Joan Silver (BETH CROSBY), Vicar (LEAH GALLAGHER), Sir Cumference (SAM RUSHWORTH) and Wailing Bride (KANDE EDEN) - hae a plan of their own and good eventually triumphs over evil and peace and harmony is restored to the house… and all with a surprising twist at the end!
The show featured some truly electrifying dance routines and musical numbers and everyone who sang, performed to perfection, harmonies et al. Great tech, lighting and set with cleverly filmed talking paintings and lots of little surprises. Loved every single musical number, especially Charlotte Gough’s Rotten to the Core, Thriller (Heads Will Roll) and the exciting, choreographed fight-scene to Knights of Cydonia.
The whole cast must be very proud – from little ones to big ones – every single company member performed brilliantly, and I know how much time and effort goes into producing a show of this size. Too large a cast to mention individually but I thank you all for bringing such happiness to everyone in the audience.
Special mention goes to Kieran Banner who played the part of Seymour and executed so well and to William who has such great stage presence and played a marvellous Uncle Ted.
Congratulations of course to the Production Team, the Directors, Musical Directors and Choreographers. I take my hat off to the dance designers and applaud the live band for a faultless performance.
Oh, and a raspberry to the little ghosties who soaked me with a water gun without a care in the world!!
If I could see this again tomorrow I would.
The group will be performing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat from 9th-12th July 2020 firstname.lastname@example.org Norton Canes High School Theatre.
Love Midlands Theatre
Sharing the latest theatre news and reviews around the Midlands.