ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

Frankenstein-like butler, Lurch, was brilliant, with a perfect amount of creepiness and it was funny. Over the course of the evening, I noticed that some of the music was rather tricky with timings, but I thought the young people did an amazing job with it, especially given that there was no one to bring them in on songs, and there was some difficult music to deal with. I particularly wanted to credit Millie Craig in ‘Pulled’. She had obviously worked very hard in rehearsals to get her timing spot on. Other memorable numbers were ‘Full Disclosure’ which was reminiscent of a golden age Hollywood Musical song. It was a fun and uplifting number to end Act 1 and the cast’s enjoyment was palpable. ‘One Normal Night’ was also professionally handled by the company with gorgeous harmonies– I got goosebumps! Really great work. The cast handled all their own transitions, bringing on their props and managing scene changes, which were, for the most part, done very well. There were, however, a few hiccups and delays along the way but I imagine, once the opening night creases are ironed out, all will run smoothly. Slight problems with the curtains at the side meant that sometimes the actors could be seen waiting to come on, and perhaps a little quicker pick up from scene to scene would help to keep the pace and momentum of the production. The chorus was strong, both in vocals and ensemble work. They gave a good balance of a comedy and a spooky ambience. I particularly enjoyed the fact that they all had a unique individualised role (Such as the Nurse, the matador etc). It gave the young performers a concept to grab on to and embody. There were times though, that when they dropped out of character the spooky effect was lost a little and the actors who held their poise and focus throughout where the ones who stood out. I particularly noticed those who stood out had developed their own character’s walk and had clearly worked hard on this physicalising aspect. The set was minimal, just enough, and cleverly built for multi-purpose use. It was set as a graveyard before ingeniously transforming into the family room. I loved this transition and the ‘ghosts’ in the pictures were a lovely touch to the scenes. The production was supported by an excellent technical cast and crew; the sound and lighting needs were all perfectly met, with no hitches whatsoever. There was minimal backstage noise, too, so well done to the stage manager John Aspden for keeping all those excited young people quiet and well organised! The costumes were also fantastic! It was a nice touch when Wednesday and Alice had the same colours and patterns on too. They were effective, professional, and very authentic. On a personal note, I loved this choice of production adapted for younger theatre groups as it allows for lots of creativity and fun musical numbers. It certainly packed a punch and did not disappoint! It was well polished, creative, and entertaining with some memorable songs. There was so much care that had gone into the quality of the production. Well done to Janet, Leroy and The Stage Door team. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next one.