Friday, 8 July 2016

"Summer Holiday"
Erewash Musical Society Youth Group.
Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton.

After a couple of rather serious shows this week for this reviewer, i was looking, as a contrast, to seeing some out and out fun musical and "Summer Holiday" fitted that bill just right. I'd forgotten what a really fun musical this was but it didn't take this talented group to remind me of what a wonderful vehicle for fun this was.

Based on the film starring Cliff Richard about a group of bus mechanics who get a double decker bus to go on holiday with to France. Along the way they pick up a trio of lovelies on their way to a gig in Athens whose car has broken down. They also get a stowaway who isn't quite who they seem.

Our four leading men Hayden Fletcher (Don), Thomas Judson (Steve), Dylan Singfield (Cyril) and Ethan Lee (Edwin) are a brilliantly entertaining quartet and gel well. They are totally believable as a group of friends, which i imagine that they are away from the stage, and it's great fun to see them work together.

"Do Re Mi", the trio of girl singers who are rescued by our intrepid heroes are Lucy Judson (Alma), Lucy Ledger (Angie) and Chloe Hopcroft (Mimsie) are another group of well cast members , again great fun to watch and sound great together as well.

Barbara/Bobby, the runaway star is played by Sophie Robbins. i loved the way she played the Bobby side of her character with fake macho-ism.

Two actors who I thought were just brilliant were Charlie Pierson who played Barbara's agent, Jerry. A lovely natural comic flair and a really confident stage presence.

The other was Barbara's mother, Stella, played by Michelle Blair. Again a lovely comedy feel and great pompousness, and an accent that didn't waver once. As a comedy pairing they bounced off each other very well.

There were 30 other members of the cast and chorus who all did a brilliant job in their various roles, and I must single out Rebecca Groombridge as the wedding soloist for her wonderful voice. Only a minor part but she made an impression on me.

What i also must mention is the ever increasing tennis racket.guitar players who entertained us with the instrumental sections between the scenes. Great fun to see the younger members of the group having a real blast and letting rip with their imaginary guitar riffs and dance routines made famous by The Shadows.

Providing the music, and may I say they really captured the whole feel and sound of the Hank Marvin guitar sound and Brian Bennett drum sound, were the very tight band, musically directed by Martin Lewis. After performing on stage for many years, Martin debuts as MD and keeps the music swinging. Special mention to Chris Renshaw on guitar and Will Raybould on drums.

The set was great with the cinematic backdrops and the bus, Yes there was a bus on stage as well as a real scooter. The bus made a real impact because I was not expecting it.

As usual for The Duchess, the sound and lighting were of a high standard, thanks to Dave Martin, Ben Tennett and Dave Dallard.

A wonderful trip down memory lane with this fluffy, feel good musical which will have you singing and clapping along with all of the tunes you know and love. Brilliant cast, who looked like they were having a ball out there and some brilliant choreography, thanks to Carol Lawson. The pacy continuity and party atmosphere is thanks to the directing of Chris Renshaw.

You've still got a chance to catch this wonderful show on Saturday 9 July 2016 at the Duchess Theatre in Long Eaton, so hurry up, you wouldn't want to miss the bus now would you?

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