WEST END STORY
Tomorrow's Talent at the Civic Theatre
Can it really be ten years since Tomorrow's Talent took those first steps down the path that would lead them to revolutionize performance opportunities for young people ?
West End Story was their anniversary show, celebrating past successes, with the help of returning alumni, and showcasing the fantastically gifted performers in their ranks.
Busy eye-catching choreography, professional production values, seamless segues and some forgiveable fond reminiscences made for a stunning couple of hours' entertainment.
From Chicago – an inventively staged All That Jazz – through drama – five lads on the lash and five ladies on the town, impersonated by the same five Bouncers; Wonka and Britney deconstructed in the Chatroom – classic choral work – Rhythm of Life with commendably crisp diction – and pure choreography – Move That Body – to Michael Jackson, and Mamma Mia, a mirrorball megamix finale put over with cheeky style and endless energy.
Even Shakespeare – Bart Lambert on Hamlet's sterile promontory.
A well-drilled but characterful ensemble - Our House a prime example – and so many outstanding soloists, including William Keeler with Ryan Lay in Billy Elliott, Isobelle Molloy in Matilda, Ollie Fox in Miss Saigon, and an incredibly mature performance by Chester Lawrence in Miss Saigon.
West End Story was directed and choreographed by Emma Tapley and ETT Principal Gavin Wilkinson, with Mark Sellar the Musical Director.
A nostalgic evening, to be sure, but one which left us in no doubt that musical theatre, locally and nationally, has a brilliant future.
pictured: Gavin Wilkinson with the guest artists, alumni returning to the TT fold