OUR DAY OUT
Tomorrow's Talent at Little Waltham
Three dozen kids burst into the hall from every entrance, making an arresting start to a remarkable evening.
Gavin Wilkinson's Tomorrow's Talent Company had just four days to put this show together. Some of the performers were experienced troupers, but most were youngsters, some appearing in a musical for the first time.
It was thanks to West End musical actors Gavin, his assistant Emma Tapley and his MD Corrie Mac that the end result was so impressive.
The simple songs, close-to-home characters and linear plot of Willy Russell's play made it a good choice for this group. Lively numbers came thick and fast: the Fairground Song, I'm In Love With Sir, and Boss of the Bus just three examples, the latter cleverly reprised at the end to get the large cast out of the arena.
Jess Moore as the dim Carol, whose crisis on the cliffs is central to the plot, Joe Toland as the stuffy Mr Briggs, and Gregory Bennett as the bus driver all gave memorable performances, but even the cameos were telling: Andrews, Digga and Reilly, Milton, Maurice and the Bored Girls all had their moments in a first-class family show.
This was Gavin's first summer school for Tomorrow's Talent. During the school holidays he's at St Peter's College in Chelmsford with free workshops, including another musical against the clock, the Broadway smash Rent.