Tomorrow's Talent at Little Waltham
image from this year's Civic Theatre Show
"Don't Tell Mama"
The last time I saw Grease in the West End, I was struck by how bloated and coarse it had become.
No such complaints with Tomorrow's Talent, who filled the hall with Pink Ladies and Burger Palace Boys, singing the songs and telling the story in sixty energetic minutes: a lean, organic high school musical.
Joe Toland brought his considerable experience to Danny, and also worked as assistant director in the unbelievably tight four day rehearsal period.
Just as outstanding was 14 year old Emma Bennett as the clean living Sandy, brilliantly selling her songs with no mic, no lights, in this scarily intimate arena.
The young performers ranged from 8 to 18, from 3 foot something to 6 foot plus, and every one of them gave their all for Rydell High. And many of them had done “Fame” the week before !
Special mention for Alex Houlton's rangy Kennickie, Catherine Hale's pink-haired Frenchy, and Jess Moore's powerful Rizzo. Greg Bennett was a stylish Doody, and slipped into a halo and wings for a nicely delivered Beauty School Dropout.
While it did not exactly avoid “tasteless and vulgar movements”, the staging was packed with bright ideas, the tyres in Greased Lightning just one instance.
Grease was directed by Gavin Wilkinson, with Dance Captain Liz Pilgrim and karaoke MD Kris Rawlinson.
As well as their annual summer schools, Tomorrow's Talent, now entering their sixth successful year, run musical theatre classes every weekend during term time.