Youth Onstage is a brilliant platform in the Midlands that helps to develop singing, dancing and acting skills for 9 to 25 year olds. High School Musical at The Old Rep is their latest offering and it is truly amazing just how young and talented these people are.
The cast was led by Kia Gates and Tom Ashen playing the roles of Gabriella and Troy respectively. Gates brought a vulnerability to the role of Gabriella that was not just characterised in her acting, but her voice as well. Paired up with Ashen's vocals, there was some beautiful harmonies shared between them. It was hard to believe afterwards that Ashen is only 14, he's got amazing potential.
Jessica Walton delivered a stand-out performance as the spotlight-hungry Sharpay, with her voice shining through in both ensemble and solo numbers. Paired with the hilariously camp James Woodward as Ryan, they provided much of the comic relief throughout the show.
One of the most impressive performers of the night was Eboni Green, the fact she is only 12, her voice, characterisation and stage presence was exceedingly brilliant for someone of such a young age. Other strong supporting performances came from Harry Chapman as Chad and Georgia Sheward as Mrs Darbus, although it is difficult to single people out, because when the ensemble came together the harmonies were superb; thanks to the musical direction from Chris Corcoran.
It must be said, however, that Jay Alves was a ball of energy who was fantastic in the ensemble, his dancing, acting and enthusiasm was a pleasure to watch.
Tackling numerous scene changes, masses of choreography and an array of entrances and exits, the creative team set Youth Onstage a huge challenge that they welcomed with open arms. Under the direction of Deb Brook and choreography from Suzy Bleasdale, the entirety of Youth Onstage should be thoroughly proud of what they have achieved.
Youth Onstage's production of High School Musical plays at The Old Rep until Saturday 9 May. For more information click here.
Love Midlands Theatre
Sharing the latest theatre news and reviews around the Midlands.