at the Civic Theatre
With their usual flair, the young graduates of the Central School brought us eight pieces, showcasing many talents in many genres.
David Bintley's Scottish Dances, like the Malcolm Arnold music, wore their tartan slightly tongue-in-cheek, though amongst the leaps and the laughs there was a touching pas de deux. Philip Aiden's When No One Is Looking used Sondheim's music for an intriguing blend of cynicism and showbiz smiles.
As ever, there was live, bespoke music too. Philip Feeney's genius provided a score for the busy athleticism of Mikaela Polley's Ascent, and for two very different pieces, both stronger for the contrast: Christopher Gable's 5 Lullabies, all white frocks and springtime innocence, with a heart-melting tenderness at the end, and Jonzi D's Scorpiones, adding a hugely enjoyable layer of irony to that most self-absorbed of forms, street-dance. The scorpions here were Pamela Gimenez, Katarina Nordin and stylish Italian brothers Daniele and Michele Pellegrini.
The last piece was out-and-out fun: Matthew Hart's Whodunnit, set to Martinu, an inspired choice. The Cluedo characters breeze across the stage, weapons cleverly concealed, they all have an opportunity; their crimes are re-enacted, before the guilty party is revealed. Was it Professor Plum in the Billiard Room with the lead pipe ? No, actually, in the biggest cliché of them all, it was ... the Butler [Jamiel Laurence] !