Review by Christine Stewart-Cork
My daughter and I attended the opening night of The Nelson Youth Company’s production of ‘High School Musical’ at The Theatre Royal.
Familiar with the Disney TV made movie, we eagerly awaited to hear our favourite tunes. Although the story-line tracked differently, there were plenty of recognisable scenes, songs, characters and costumes.
A few opening night nerves with rushed lines were soon overcome, and we were very quickly invested in the classic boy meets girl story, twisted with a show within a show.
Ben Thomas and Olivia Murray played a convincing young couple as Troy and Gabriella, well supported by Thomas Tough (Chad), Megan Brennan (Taylor), Abbey Wratten (Zeke), Trizar Tin (Martha), and Seren Holden as Kelsi.
Outstanding performance and well cast, the villains you can’t help but love, Annie Davies (Sharpay) and Seth Blackburn (Ryan), kept us well entertained. Fantastic continuity story-lines were delivered by Samuel Clark as Jack Scott.
Although not all songs were sung with exact harmony, they were delivered with convincing emotion. I found myself laughing out loud, shedding a small tear and grinning from ear to ear. A very touching father son scene between Troy and his coach (Andrew Cross) made the crowd “awww’, and I enjoyed the well-staged and lit Cellular Fusion scene.
The audience of teens and families were very vocal and appreciative of the spectacular visual entertainment of high energy, well-choreographed dance numbers including “Getcha Head In The Game”, “Bop To The Top” ‘Stick To The Status Quo’ and “We’re All In This together”.
We left the theatre singing the songs, grateful for the words in our minds, inspiring us to believe in ourselves, stick with the stuff we know while we are soaring and flying, we’re breaking free, remember just who you are.