Youth Theatre's are undoubtedly thriving with talent throughout the Midlands. What is even more impressive is that each group I see, they push themselves to another level and last night was no exception.
The Harlequins Drama Group received a rapturous reception as they performed the ultimate theatre classic, The Phantom of the Opera in the heart of Redditch last night.
The sheer professionalism of the show oozed from the beginning. It was a monumental achievement that the whole cast and crew can be whole-heartedly proud of. Overhearing comments such as 'just as good as the West End' and 'phenomenal' really puts into context how superb this production was.
No one faltered and it was perfectly cast. Taking on the title role with unrelenting power was Eric Lopez. Commanding the stage he delivered an utterly captivating performance. The control in his voice gave goosebumps and paired with Emily Bedford as Christine, they were certainly forces to be reckoned with.
Bedford was compelling throughout and left audiences spellbound with her beautiful voice. The equally talented Dylan Hartnell was brilliant as Raoul and the trio exuded experience beyond their years.
Other standout performances of the night came from Laura Nicholson as Carlotta, providing much of the comic relief (alongside the excellent duo of Josh Harper and Sam Whitehouse as Andre and Firmin) they all shone.
Every single person on that stage deserves a mention, but suffice to say that this truly was a magnificent show and it was a joy to be able to witness such a stunning production.
Creatives and backstage clearly worked exceedingly hard behind the scenes as well, with a rousing band under the direction of Tom Porter, delicate choreography from Cassie Rivett and outstanding direction from Jonathan Boxall-Southall, this will be a show I won't quickly forget.
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