BULLFROG Productions promised a trip to Hollywood and Beyond at Chequer Mead last night and with the theatre sold out, they delivered a fantastic show to a very appreciative audience.
The cast was drawn from Bullfrog’s students in East Grinstead and Sevenoaks who performed song after song from some of the great movie musicals with talent, panache and enthusiasm.
The ensemble show reflected enormous credit on all the youngsters taking part, and singling out individual performances seems invidious, as the company’s talents were well-deployed throughout a fast-moving song-list – and their sheer love of the theatre was as palpable as it was infectious.
But Jamie Kaye, who got things off to a great start with his Singing in the Rain solo, also earned a huge roar of approval for his performance of Electricity, from Billy Elliot, in which both his touching singing and his athletic dance routine were a triumph.
Connie Everett captured all the tawdry glamour of the Kit Kat Club in her solo Wilkommen as the host in Cabaret, and Alex Bastow was simply terrific with her cynical kiss-off Mein Herr which also saw the company put in a slick performance as the night club dancers.
Amy Clements, in Mary Poppins’ Supercalifragilistic, gave a poised and confident performance, and Kate Virgo’s version of I Could Have Danced All Night was spine-tinglingly lovely. Turns out she can yodel pretty well too, as she proved in her accomplished version of A Lonely Goatherd.
Alex Bastow, Natasha Roberts, Taz Usher, Natalie Stroud, Holly McGrogan, Harvey Ebbage and Victoria Johnson delivered a dark change of pace with their dance routine, and deserve enormous praise for their emotionally-charged Argentinian Tango performed to Roxanne.
While India Rose Slack, Taz Usher, Alex Bastow, Jemma Manuel, Natasha Roberts, Georgie Drury and Victoria Johnson also put in a spirited dance performance of I Want To Be in America as the pouting Puerta Rican girls from West Side Story.
An assured solo from Alysha Finch Parsons saw her bring a deftly-assured comic touch to her explanation of exactly why it is that Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.
And if it was aaaah! factor you were after, then the little performers in Do, Re, Me were the ones to watch. They may not have been pitch perfect, but a more endearing set of little singers would have been hard to find and they earned themselves a very appreciative and well deserved cheer.
Other lovely performances came from Lily Cooper, with Getting to Know You from The King and I, Jemma Manuel and Taz Usher for their lively lead in Om Pah Pah, from Oliver, and Georgie Drury for a belting performance of Good Morning Baltimore.
A great night at the theatre, reprising some hugely popular shows with a company who love what they do – and who swept their audience along with them.
This review was first published on East Grinstead Online and is reproduced with kind permission.