Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 3°C

min temp: -1°C

Search

Review: Our Day Out, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

PUBLISHED: 14:19 04 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:19 04 September 2017

James Hirst as Mr Briggs, the authoritarian assistant head teacher, with the young company taking part in the Willy Russell musical Our Day Out at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Photo: Theatre Royal

James Hirst as Mr Briggs, the authoritarian assistant head teacher, with the young company taking part in the Willy Russell musical Our Day Out at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Photo: Theatre Royal

Archant

This funny and emotive musical about a class of disadvantaged teens on a school trip was originally written by Willy Russell in the 70s but remains just as true and poignant today.

The young company taking part in the Willy Russell musical Our Day Out at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Photo: Theatre Royal The young company taking part in the Willy Russell musical Our Day Out at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Photo: Theatre Royal

Featuring the abiding stereotypes from everyone’s school days - the scary headmaster, the cool teacher, bully boys, popular girls and, of course, the young teacher you had a crush on - Our Day Out sees them all come together to enjoy a coach trip to Wales which takes them from a zoo to a castle to an eventful conclusion at the beach.

Along the way, the sweet-but-surprisingly-feisty Miss Appleby (Georgia Richardson) teaches a young admirer a tough lesson and there is a hilarious dream sequence, somewhat reminiscent of Grease, where young Carly (Robyn Painter) is serenaded by the handsome Mr McDevit (the handsome George Brockbanks).

James Hirst is suitably authoritarian (read ‘terrifying’) as head Mr Briggs while Beth Tuckey is perfectly lovely as everyone’s favourite teacher, Mrs Kay. Special mention should also be made of Craig Stevenson who provided a great deal of heart in three supporting roles.

But the stars of the show were undoubtedly the 17 talented young performers portraying the street-wise ‘Progress’ class, who were so full of energy and enthusiasm that I occasionally felt they needed a larger stage to allow the performance to breathe. The sheer volume in the group numbers, coupled with their remarkably good Liverpool accents, occasionally made it tricky to hear the lyrics. But, as any high school teacher will tell you, that’s a class of 17 teens for you! Meanwhile, they perfectly captured the spirit, bluster and awkwardness of that age and clearly had a great time doing it, which meant we had a great time watching them.

However, woven together with the fun, flirting and frolics is a subtle message about poverty, deprivation and the challenges faced by children growing up in that environment. A great understated performance by Abigail Laker as the troubled and vulnerable Amy Chandler provided a truly touching conclusion to both squeeze the heart and stay in the mind.

Gold stars all round.

Martine Silkstone

Comments have been disabled on this article.

The 80s are officially back, with Fame The Musical coming to the Ipswich Regent later this year.

Film award shows seem to be losing favour with audiences. Arts editor Andrew Clarke wonders whether its because the audience for movies is changing and the Oscars and BAFTAs are reacting by rewarding the wrong films.

Talented students at Suffolk New College organised and filmed their own Jools Holland-style show showcasing some of Suffolk’s brightest talent.

The Bury Festival is one of the cornerstones of Suffolk’s cultural calendar. Arts editor Andrew Clarke speaks to festival director Nick Wells and takes a look at the treats in store during this year’s 10 day extravaganza.

The cast of new musical An Officer and a Gentleman has been revealed, featuring top West End talent.

Taj Mahal chef Sayid swaps the kitchen for the stage in The Chef Show, part of PULSE presents.

Weighing in at more than 60 dates between October and this June, The Sensational 60s Experience is just about the biggest show dedicated to the music of that decade. This time, the line-up is colossal, with six artists – three groups and three solo acts.

How to have a go at Winter Olympics sports in East Anglia

The Proclaimers are coming to the Ipswich Regent later this year.

Suffolk popstar Ed Sheeran arrives at BRIT Awards ceremony - wearing a wedding ring?

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24