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High School Musical

On entering the hall for the first time I was left in no doubt as to the main setting of the show – the striking red and white set depicting the Wildcats’ team colours looked expertly done.

I loved the opening sequence – such a lot going on and the high energy start to the show had a real impact on me as an audience member.  I liked the use of the floor in front of the stage; a good choice and one which almost made me feel part of the action.  There was good use of gymnastics and acrobatics at the start of the show and on other occasions throughout which were well executed.  

The scene change to put the gym mats away was slick and I was pleased it did not detract focus from the action on the stage.  All other scene changes were well rehearsed and competent – something not all drama groups manage.  The cast made good use of props throughout the show – the basketballs for example - and it was good to see the basketball hoops put to good use.  Ben Carroll handled the extra pressure of having to shoot hoops a couple of times as part of the performance with ease!

The scenery was well thought out and scene changes efficient.  I particularly liked the bench, which folded out from the flat – a good idea well executed.

During the chorus numbers it was evident that the cast were relaxed and enjoying themselves.  Sometimes I struggled to hear soloists which was a shame.  I liked the variation in groupings during chorus numbers which gave different cast members a chance at the front.

The basketball players conveyed a good camaraderie during their scenes.  I enjoyed the choreography which was simple, current and uplifting to watch.

I liked the way the audition process was set, with good use of interjections and the reprise.  I also enjoyed the montage during “Bop to the Top”.

Ben Carroll as Troy displayed a good range of emotions and qualities.  He was comfortable with his basketball peers, a clear leader and then showed good contrast when he was with Gabriella, being sensitive and then awkward at times.

Amy Stanners played “nerdy” Gabriella well.  I could tell she had a good rapport with Troy.  She conveyed her frustration at wanting to break away from being a science geek and try something different very well.

Milli Randall captured Sharpay’s perceived superior attitude to a tee.  I loved her flamboyant outfit and she had great presence.

I enjoyed Harvey Greenwood’s portrayal of Ryan.  There was comedy in his relationship with Sharpay which he played well.

I was so impressed with the inclusive nature of this show – to have put this production together in three weeks involving the whole year in various aspects shows great teamwork and competence.  It is a valuable lesson for the youngsters about what is involved in putting on a successful show, bringing together so many different aspects to a cohesive whole.  I liked the format of the programme put together by the marketing team and in particular the interviews with cast members, which was then carried through to the start of the show by William Meachem who very competently MC’d the introductory section.

Thank you to Parkfields Middle School for inviting me and for the warm welcome I received.  This was a slick, high energy show, with great performances by all involved.

Parkfields Middle School - 14th July 2016

High School Musical

Director, Producer & Choreographer:  Susie Conder

 MD:  Debbie Nicholls


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