Sunday, 6 July 2014

STAND IN THE SPOTLIGHT by Spotlight Theatre Group
Nottingham Arts Theatre.

The annual showcase of talent from the Spotlight Theatre Group was everything I'd come to expect with a few extra surprises thrown in. Combining the showcase of talent with their annual awards gave an opportunity to show people why they were worthy of the awards that were presented.

The show was a mix of modern songs ( "Girl On Fire", "Make A Move On Me", "All Of Me") and songs from the musicals and original sketches. Mixing classic musicals like "Sweet Charity" (If They Could See Me Now) with newer classics "Les Miserables" (At The End Of The Day) and "Frozen" (Do You Want To Build A Snowman and Let it Go) with the not so well known musical like "Newsies" (Seize The Day), "Spring Awakening" (Song Of Purple Summer) and "Matilda" (School Song).

Kicking off with "One Night Only" from Dream Girls was an apt choice and was sung so well by Grace Hodgett-Young, all the way through to the rousing  "Brand New Day" from The Wiz, you couldn't really find fault with the choices or the presentation.

A couple of original sketches, the first written by Liam Hall and harking back to the 50s style detective movie, the second set in a gym,which I'm sure would make a great warm up for any drama group. Both very comical and showing another side of the theatre group.

Some really inspired choreography by Jessica Royce which showed the male dancers skills to be as adept as the females, whether it be ballet or contemporary.

Amanda highlighted in her speech about the lighting and this was something that I noticed. The use of intelligent lighting really did make a difference, creating such a professional lightshow, the kind you may see at somewhere like the Nottingham theatre Royal.

So many highlights for me as well. I've been a fan of James Murray since I saw him take the lead in "13" a couple of years back and he showed his versatility in both dance, drama and singing, appearing in many of the separate showcases.Eva Sheppard was the same and another worthy recipient of an award tonight.

It was also nice to see some of the elder members, along with director, Amanda Hall, performing "It Sucks To Be Me" from one of my favourite musicals, "Avenue Q"

One section which was a last minute addition, just to provide a bit more time for costume changes, was the song "Corner Of the Sky" from the musical "Pippin", sung with perfection by Reece Carson. Reece, it was told afterwards, already has an agent and is on his way to London, and you can see why, because he has a great voice and stage presence. You can just picture him on the London stages.

All you have to do is look at the faces of the younger members who took part to see what a great boost they all get from hearing that applause after their performance, and by them seeing the elder ones receiving awards for the hard work, must trruly spur them on to want to emulate their seniors.

So many behind the scenes people also complete the jigsaw, too many for me to mention, but like a jigsaw, if one piece happened to be missing, the picture would not be as complete and every single person deserves a massive pat on the back because this show really did showcase the talent that we have in young people and in local theatre, and I for one can have nothing but praise for every single on of you.

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