A smashing Summer Night courtesy of talented Youth Theatre Group

Eyemouth and Disctict Youth Theatre group during rehursals for their latest production
Eyemouth and Disctict Youth Theatre group during rehursals for their latest production

THEATRE

‘1 Nite Only’

Eyemouth & District Community Youth Theatre Group

HERRING Queen week might not have got off to the best of starts thanks to the typically British weather but there was no danger of rain stopping play as a packed audience took their seats at the new High School on Tuesday for this extravaganza.

Taking a look at what was in store, this fan of all things musical was brimming with anticipation and the confidence that Shannon Smith and Hannah Ritchie belted out Hairspray’s ‘Good Morning Baltimore’ with set the tone for the rest of the evening.

The Broadway show’s calling card ‘You Can’t Stop The Beat’ followed and was once again done with great gusto with all of the young cast getting in on the act. The next stop on this whistlestop tour of stage and screen was ‘Mamma Mia’ which gave Hannah Ritchie, Shannon Smith and Carly Robertson a chance to shine in the opener ‘Honey Honey’ before Katie Blatchley led the cast in a groovetastic version of ‘Dancing Queen’.The pace slowed down a bit for the next segment of the revue, dedicated to long-running West End epic ‘Les Miserables’. You could hear a pin drop as little Caitlin Lauder sang ‘Castle on a Cloud’ before Lara Ward took the mic for the spinetingling ‘On My Own’. Both soloists were fantastic as was Rory Fairbairn who closed the set with the rather more uplifting ‘Little People’.

From one great musical to another as the cast gave ‘Grease’ the Youth Theatre Group treatment. Rona Peakman, Katie Dyson, Sophie Johnston and Sophie Ritchie revelled in their Pink Lady status for ‘Sandra Dee’ as did Mak Wilson, Rory Fairbairn, Lewis Middlemiss, Grant Maltman and Hamish Blackie as T-Birds in ‘Greased LIghtning’.

Mak took on the role of Danny and playing opposite him was Ailsa Landels, who like the soloists before her was very impressive.

The first act closed with a rousing rendition of ‘Summer Night’s and after teas and traybakes had been enjoyed the high school hall was transformed into Fat Sam’s Speakeasy club for a tribute to ‘Bugsy Malone’.

The full cast embraced their gangster and moll personas and after some exerpts of entertaining dialogue, the section was closed by Lara Ward who led Katie Dyson, Kirsten Hood, Kirsty Doogan and Carly Robertson in a terrific take on ‘Tallulah’, complete with feather boas.

Edinging closer to the finale, things were brought slightly more up to date with a trio of tunes from ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. The title track gave Caitlin Lauder, Megan Ritchie, Sophie Johnston, Elle Drummond and Lewis Middlemiss a chance to shine while ‘Grow For Me’ and ‘Somewhere That’s Green’ offered Mak Wilson and Carly Robertson a deserved moment in the spotlight.

We were sent crashing slap bang into 2011 with the show’s closing number, a Glee style mashup which began with ‘Money Money’ from ‘Cabaret’ but ended with one of the year’s biggest hits so far, Jessie J’s ‘Price Tag’.

Producers Andrea Thacker and Pauline Greive should be proud of how the youngsters tackled a wide variety of iconic songs. The show was called ‘1 Nite Only’ but I’m sure there would have been few complaints had it ran for more.

SIMON DUKE