Summer Youth Project will rock you

VIDEO This is the fifth year that the Spa has hosted the Summer Youth Project which brings together more than one hundred of the most talented youngsters in the area to rehearse and produce a show in just two weeks.

We Will Rock You, Summer Youth Project, Spa Pavilion, until Saturday

THIS is the fifth year that the Spa has hosted the Summer Youth Project which brings together more than one hundred of the most talented youngsters in the area to rehearse and produce a show in just two weeks.

A tall order at the best of times, yet under the expert direction of Steve Wooldridge assisted by choreographer Yolanda Lockwood and musical director Richard Healey this cast have pulled off a magnificent production that will literally rock your world.

Having seen the West End version twice I was prepared to be critical. But I found that as the evening swept on I only drew favourable comparisons.

This musical tribute to Queen, written by Ben Elton in collaboration with Brian May, calls for strong, powerful leads, and this they had in Joe Leat as Galileo and Emily Peakman as Scaramouch.

Good voices, confident characterisation and the chemistry between them made sure the production maintained momentum, but they were ably supported by Dan Ablitt as Britney , Stephanie Hazelwood as Meatloaf and the always watchable Ashley Wade as Khashoggi.

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Mention too must be made of Josh Locke who's performance as Pop stole the scenes he was in.

However, this is very much an ensemble production, and every chorus scene was vibrant, pacy and colourful. All the kids from the youngest to the oldest acted, sung and danced their hearts out leaving the audience yelling for more.

Well drilled and professional in their commitment, this was a show that brought out the best in them and it was good to see a production that used the majority of the performers to the best of their ability.

On a simple but effective set, the back projections and lighting worked well, and the costumes were spot on. And the first rate five piece ensemble band made it all look easy.

This is a feel good, funny, thoroughly enjoyable show. The story line may be a little silly, and some of the jokes a bit risqué for a schools production, but the sheer wonder of the achievement of getting a first rate performance out of such a large group of children in such a short time really deserves all the praise for director, cast and crew. Even if the music of Queen isn't your favourite I will guarantee you will come away having clapped along with the best of them.

SUSAN HAWKES

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