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Review: Rent by Lichfield Musical Youth Theatre at the Forest Arts Centre

First of all let me say I would (almost) crawl over broken glass to see any production by Oliver Rowe’s Lichfield Youth Musical Theatre – but I never thought I would have to go as far as, well, Walsall.

Rent by Lichfield Musical Youth Theatre

Rent by Lichfield Musical Youth Theatre

What possible state of affairs can obtain whereby this marvellously prestigious and successful non-profit making outfit has to leave its home city for a sports centre in the Black Country?

After all, many of its alumni have quite rightly gone on to shine at the very top of the theatrical profession.

Dear city fathers, and mothers, please take note. This is a sign that there is something seriously wrong with the priorities of an ancient Midlands city famous for its historical world class contributions to science and to the arts, not least Johnson and Garrick who walked to London to revive the very art of theatre itself which we are still nationally enjoying the benevolent results of.

Just not in Lichfield any longer, as it turns out.

That said, Oliver Rowe’s latest production at Walsall’s Forest Arts Centre is a first-class example of how to allow talented young people to present a marvellous range of performances from comedy to tragedy with deceptive ease but as much passion as if their very lives depended on it thanks to director and choreographer Jessica Lambert’s sheer theatrical – well, genius.

In Rent, based on Puccini’s La Boheme, they’re all young and they’re on the street, but they live, love, take risks, have lives, and often move on having learned lessons for the future. In other words they’re recognisable and realistic young people learning how to grow in an increasingly complex and demanding world. In other words, real life, right now.

In a fabulous cast easily adept at both comedy and tragedy plus everything else in between it is hard to single out any names, but I have to mention our very own Chris Buckle and the new (to me) Tammie Morgan who I’m told is planning to study further.
Personally I’m not sure she needs to. She has star quality of the rarest kind and you heard it first here.

Walsall’s gain is very definitely Lichfield’s loss. I ask city fathers (and mothers) what has gone so wrong that this disgraceful situation has come to pass, and can they do nothing to reverse it?

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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4 Comments

  1. Sam

    24th October, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Great show but the fact that you didn’t mention the names of some of the other talented leads is very disappointing especially when their vocals and acting were incredible and defiantly deserved a mention. Your review seems a little rushed.

  2. Jon

    24th October, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    Is this review of the show or just a general moan about Lichfield. I have already booked tickets but this review wouldn’t have encouraged me to if I hadn’t. After the hard work of all the cast I’m sure there were more than two worth a mention

  3. AnnS

    25th October, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    I think Philip is bemoaning, and rightly so, the sadness and loss of this group from Lichfield. Probably not helped by the in house fighting and extortionate fees at The Garrick.

  4. Sam

    26th October, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Shame on you Philip and Anns for using this as a platform to air your grievances, its not about the adults and their self importance. If you had spent less time “moaning” in your review Philip you may have been able to give a true account of this fantastic show and celebrate the hard work achieved by this talented bunch, It not the venue that matters and I for one applaud them all Chris Buckle, Hattie Rumsey, Joseph Riley, Tammie Morgan, Adam Prichard, Louis McCoy, Luke Bryan, Shannon Robinson , Adam Robinson, Alex Carter, Ava Toroni, Beth Dickson, Colleen Curran, Cordie Osborne, Ella Fellows-Moore, Grace Wills, Hannah Smith, Hudson Michell, Lewis Collier smith, Lucy Allen, Lucy Averis, Mia Turley, Phoebe Lago-Willetts and Seren Parri
    WELL DONE RENT KIDS YOU ROCK

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