"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Talent at the Civic Theatre
publicity photos by Louise Freeland
Firth's Madness urban malaise musical would like to do for NW5 what
Blood Brothers did for Liverpool. It cheekily plunders the band's
back-catalogue to tell the story of some salt-of-the earth citizens
of Casey Street, and chart the double life of Good Joe/Bad Joe.
couldn't have better, more enthusiastic advocates than Gavin
Wilkinson and his Tomorrow's Talent Theatre Arts company. Wilkinson
himself is a veteran of the West End original, and he brought an
impressive presence to the key role of Joe's dead dad, with Becky
Stephens excellent as Kath.
super-strong cast brought 24-carat commitment to the many roles –
Sarah the girlfriend who escapes to university, wonderfully sung and
acted by Emma Bennett [Jessica Moore in other performances], Reecey
who tempts Joe to leave the straight and narrow [Bart Lambert], and a
great character quartet in support: Tara Divina and Deanna Byron as
the heartless girls, and Josh Butcher and Mark Ellis hilarious as the
Boy Joe Casey was played with touching honesty by Sam Toland, no
stranger to the Civic stage, which was hosting a Tomorrow's Talent musical for
the first time.
staging was slick, professional and very inventive: the skipping,
jumping chorus collapsing to reveal that first kiss, the breathtaking
ballet of the classroom desks, the tasteless Wings of a Dove and the
patriotic Camden market, with its pastiche of Who Will Buy.
let's not forget the young people labouring unseen in the pit,
providing great sounds under dynamic young MD Kris Rawlinson.