ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

talented performers – embodying the grotesque nature of their characters. Their upbeat songs like ‘Friday’ and ‘Lady Marmalade’ really got the audience going. Colin Cropper and Rebecca Ashworth played Baron and Baroness Hardup. They were entertaining together, and it was refreshing to hear Colin’s very northern accent on stage. They both played their parts well and their bickering was also very entertaining. Josiah Thorn’s portrayal of Buttons brought a youthful energy into the production playing his part with a coy naivety and he totally won the audience over. This was a well-rounded performance from this young actor. I loved the energy in his number, “Find My Purpose” with his cheeky, tongue-in-cheek delivery. Lori-Mai Hooley took the role of Dandini. I really liked her performance. I felt her stage presence and energy as soon as she walked on. She really owned the stage with her crystalclear diction and focus. I’m not sure if the script or direction is at fault here but I felt both Dandini and The Baroness could have been a bit more evil, as it just didn’t quite come across at times. When Dandini changes sides it seemed to come from nowhere so there wasn’t much booing from the audience. I felt this would have given the character Dandini in particular a bit more light and shade. The young lady who sang the lead vocal on ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ (not named in programme) had the most beautiful tone, and I loved the gentle and tender mood she set with the song, and her stage presence, and innocent energy: just gorgeous. Another stand out scene for me was Cinderella and Buttons as they go to the imaginary ball. It was sweet, touching, and funny. The scene which followed where the Fairy Godmother turns the pumpkin in to a coach was also a creative effect that was thoroughly enjoyable and wonderful to watch. I thought the dance teams were all excellent and added to the community feel of the show. Everyone knew their entrances and exits, and they were clearly well rehearsed with slick numbers. Their enjoyment was evident by their huge smiles on their faces. I want to give a special mention to the backstage team also for dealing with such an enormous cast and so many young people! I imagine it is not an easy feat to chaperone such a large team. There was no backstage noise, and the transitions were good. I did feel that at an hour and a half long Act 1 was too long, resulting in a long show overall. I think some of the scenes lacked a bit of pace, and the momentum was lost which meant that some of the cast’s jokes fell on deaf ears. I would have liked to see more of the silly gags, like the hat being shot off, and the duck being shot, and a bit more slapstick humour as, when it was done, it was brilliant. The music and songs choices were excellent and enjoyable and tended to follow the narrative. I did feel that some of the harmonies in the songs needed a bit more polishing such as in ‘Rewrite the Stars’. ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ and ABBA hits were the final numbers in the production and the atmosphere was joyous creating a really electric atmosphere which raised the roof of the theatre! Overall, this was an enjoyable evening, and the venue and atmosphere was absolutely outstanding! Well done to all involved; and thank you so much for the warm welcome.