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“ALADDIN & His Wonderful Lamp”

Always my feel good production of the year, this was no exception.  I have a smile on my face the whole time, watching these talented youngsters perform.

The cast and crew are adapting well to the new facility at Stopsley, which has proved to be testing at times, but we were treated to a lovely production, with some very good performances.

The minimalist scenery worked well, and gave the cast plenty of room to move around the stage, whilst providing interest and colour.  I understand the difficulties of working in a new venue, especially where the technical team are concerned, but on the whole it worked well.  The strobe lighting for the chase scene was good, as was the movement created by the cast, very effective, but marginally too long.  I also liked the mood lighting for the cave, and the eerie sound echo from the mics in that scene.

Choreography was good, Sarah Albert kept it within the bounds of what the cast were comfortable with, but also introduced some new and interesting moves.

Diana Baxter always gets the children involved with the music, so there were some good sounds there.

The costumes were bright and fresh, I was particularly taken with the  handmaidens dresses, utterly charming.  I loved the fact that hairdo’s for the entire cast were neat and tidy, and make up was also very suitable.  Stage 1 always excel in this area, and when the tabs went back we were treated to a veritable explosion of colour, a real treat.

There was a certain lack of experience showing in some of the younger cast members, but this is what they go to Stage 1 for, to have fun, whilst learning stagecraft, which I applaud.

I enjoyed Amelia Gravener’s performance as Widow Twankey, she projected well, and involved the audience, she also showed a good singing voice.  Lovely dress, wig and make up, well done.

Millie Parks was a lively Wishy Washy, plenty of interaction with the audience and cast.

Kyra Campbell who played Aladdin started a little diffidently, but gained in confidence during the performance, I liked her relationship with Maddison Fontenelle, who was a charming Princess Lotus Blossom, and has good stage presence and connectivity with the audience through her eyes.  I liked their duet.

Nathanial Edwards always creates a good character, with plenty of understanding of what it’s all about, he was nicely evil, and we enjoyed booing him and his slimy sidekick Mustapha, played well by Robert Lovelock.

Charlotte Lovelock and Emily Albert gave us a very good comedy duo as PC’s Ping and Pong – they got a lot of humour in their performances and played off each other well.  Always good to see youngsters getting the essence of comedy so well.

I liked the pairing of Reuben Sousa-Shaheed and Megan Newns as the Emperor and Empress, Reuben was very much under the thumb, and Megan created a strong character, with plenty of force and projection.  I loved Daniel and Joshua Jones as the Royal Coolies, they coped very well with the sedan chair!

Ruby Drozdziol and Tykia Campbell as Orange Petal and May Bloom were charming Princesses, giving nicely contrasting performances.

Katie Edwards was a full on Mrs. Wong, good projection and great fun.

With every young person taking part having a named role it is impossible to name everyone, but suffice to say they all enjoyed themselves, and the audience were therefore very receptive and in turn enjoyed the whole production.  Even the Camel had its own character and raised a number of laughs.  Their dance was very good.

I enjoyed the revised finale, it was most enjoyable, and the sing-a-long was a tour de force, well done to the cast for remembering it all.

A good all round production, that I loved, well done to all involved.

Stage 1 “ALADDIN & His Wonderful Lamp

review date: 2nd Feb 2018 Stopsley High School

Directed by Terry Mills

MD: Diana Baxter    Choreographer: Sarah Albert

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