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The Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre has scored yet another hit with this latest offering, its 25th anniversary production.
Footloose has a strong storyline and the principals did it more than justice, proving their acting ability as well singing prowess.
Nick Lawrence was particularly powerful as the minister of a small town who enforced a law against modern dancing, fearing it would lead to drug or alcohol abuse. He gave an extremely believable performance, moving from pompous outrage to sensitive soul-searching with ease. I particularly enjoyed Heaven Help Me, near the end of the show.
But this isn’t a one-man show by any means. Jack Moreton as Ren, a young man who’d moved to the town with his mother, played the loveable rebel with a yearning to dance extremely well. Charlotte Middleton as Minister’s daughter Ariel, turned in yet another spot-on performance. Their voices blended so well in the duet Almost Paradise.
The performances of Eve Fehilly and Georgina Jones, as the two mothers, was a joy to watch. Loved Learning to be Silent – extremely moving.
The comedy accolade must go to Lewis Sanders as the gormless Willard. Wonderful timing, great facial expressions and a sensitive interpretation. Just brilliant!
There were some first class performances from the boys’ gang – Robert Glynn, Romayne Sturridge and Ben Folds and the female friends Phoebe Wade, Megan Lambert and Abigail Tong.
The principals were backed by a very strong cast of enthusiastic actors dancers and singers, whose names are too numerous to mention, but I think there are quite a number of future lead performers among them, which bodes well for the Youth Theatre.
Congratulations to everyone concerned, including MD Oliver Rowe, Director Aimee Berwick and Choreographer Jessica Lambert, who provided some energetic, toe-tapping routines.
Footloose may not one of the big blockbuster musicals, but it is a show well worth seeing.
The production runs at the Lichfield Garrick until October 2 at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets are available by calling 01543 412121 or online at www.lichfieldgarrick.com.
The next production from the group will be Oliver! in April. If it’s anything like the 2003 production, their first at the Garrick, I can’t wait.
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