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NOAH THE MUSICAL


Once again I was very impressed by the depth of talent in this excellent musical offering from HHTC Youth Group.  


I loved the musical itself, the numbers were first-rate, both rousing and emotive, whilst also being reflective or angry as needed.  The words were good, as they kept the ethos of the story as we know it, but carried a lot of humour and modernity.


The stage set was high quality, with very creative lighting, the Ark itself was imposing, and I found the ending of Act 1 particularly was very effective and affecting.  Act 2 gave us the action with the animals and the Ark, and the rainbow lighting effects were truly lovely, very evocative, which again brought a lump to the throat.


Choreography was different, and injected some more modern steps alongside the more traditional, which on the whole worked well.


I liked the Dove v Raven duet, but it was a little long - however they integrated and interacted well with each other.


The opening was very startling, and grabbed our attention from the outset, which I liked, and the cast gave us a very full-on opening number.  Unfortunately the sound balance for several of the solo numbers was not good, which is often the case when using backing tracks, it seemed to affect the boys more than the girls, presumably because of where their voices were pitched.  However, there were some super voices up there, and the power in the ensemble numbers and the harmonies achieved were excellent - very uplifting. Dan Cowtan had done a good job with these youngsters, who in the main were under 14 years old, which speaks volumes, I was very impressed.


Harry Cambridge played Noah, and got the feel of the older man well, he unfortunately suffered from the sound balance problems, but certainly did not let it affect his singing or acting of the part, which he accomplished very well.


Mollie Stevens as Mrs Noah showed us a very strong voice, which managed to get over the accompanying track, I felt she needed a little more vocal variety, but was a good foil to the softer Noah - I liked the interactivity between this pair.


The three brothers, Shem, Ham and Japeth - Jake Hafter-Smith, Jacob Cole and James Darby - all brought different characters and voice tones to the part, good dimensions and contrasts.  Again they interacted well, and their wives, Ruth, Rebekah and Rachel - Melanie Mantle, Alex Edwards and Rachel Botten - were all very strong singers who gave lots of expression to their parts.


Alissimon Minnitt played Stella - and created a very ethereal figure, but with a fine well-projected voice and good stage presence. An excellent contrast to the more earthly parts.  The fact that Alissimon is slightly older than the rest of the cast, showed in the way she performed.  


I thought James Grout gave a sterling performance as Baasha - he gave the part menace, and also managed to retain the gravelly tone to his voice when singing - very well done.  James Tatman, Christopher Travers and Matthew Travers were also good as the Elders, they sang well, and managed to get the feel of being above Noah and his family, injecting some humour and menace along the way.


I think the whole audience fell in love with the Boy and Girl Unicorns, played by Reuben Cole and Shelby McGuire, they were utterly charming, and sang their number really well, a delightful interlude.


The Storm Dance, led by Storm Queen Jennifer Lavender, as a whole was good and gave the feeling of the storm building up.


The animals were good, it would have been nice to see a bit more of them - but what we did see was interesting.


Costumes were very good - imaginative and colourful where relevant, and more restrained for the main characters.  


It was wonderful to see so many young people taking part, a triumph I feel and one which I truly enjoyed - a great experience, and always such a delight to see young people doing so well, and obviously soaking up everything the Director, MD and Choreographer threw at them.








Hemel Hempstead Theatre Company Youth Production

NOAH THE MUSICAL” review date: 31st Jan 2014 Boxmoor Playhouse

Director:  Ian Gower  MD: Dan Cowtan

Choreographer: Sapphire Beaumont

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