OffSpringers at the Cramphorn Theatre
Those poor evacuees have found their way onto the primary curriculum – good for empathy – and often crop up on the page and the stage.
This musical play – Carl Davis and Hiawyn Oram – treads a familiar path; it is performed here with enthusiasm by a large cast of youngsters.
Though the scene changes are slow, the set is impressive – a bridge, tunnel beneath, with a huge screen for images of grimy London or leafy Darchett.
Dan Hall makes a likeable Kip, the London lad who finds himself in the country; Ellen, the girl from the Hall who befriends him, is convincingly done by Bernice Bushell. Promising work in character roles from Ethan Holmes as Poacher Jack, a philosophical Papageno, and Rose Gowen, splendid as Grace, the pert young housemaid.
There is perhaps rather too much music; numbers like Warning: Man in Uniform, with its lovely Land Girl chorus, where staging and scoring combine to excellent effect, are the exception. The “Choose Me” sequence is cleverly done, reprised by the two teachers, played with confidence by Loretta Bushell and Matt Scott. And Dan Dearmer, who gives us an unsympathetic vicar and a good German, has a nice solo in Somewhere Behind.
The Vackees was directed for OffSpringers by Sharon Scott with Jackie Bates. Callum Bates is the MD, with Ian Myers at the keyboard.