Rock stars deliver their own kind of magic

Berwick Acadamy drama students (BACstage) perform Queen musical 'We Will Rock You'
Berwick Acadamy drama students (BACstage) perform Queen musical 'We Will Rock You'

They’ve seen off the Wicked Witch of the West in the pastbut the students of Berwick Academy came up against the mighty Queen with their latest show.

But with some fine renditions of Freddie Mercury and co’s greatest hits and some fantastic acting, the students emerged victorious.

‘We Will Rock You’ has had its critics during its West End run, but it was the perfect show for the young and sprightly cast who rocked the Academy stage on Tuesday.

Opener ‘Radio GaGa’ propelled the audience into a land where rock music wasn’t allowed but fortunately for us there were plenty of rebels willing to break the rule.

Frazer Smiles has got to be the most hardest working actor in town, having starred in countless productions in the last year alone but arguably the role of Galileo Figaro was his hardest to date.

The role might not have had the emotional depth of his character in Tideline Runners’ ‘The Words in the Wires’, but it was still a very demanding one, exercising his vocal chords to the max.

You need a strong character and talent to do justice to Freddie Mercury and Frazer definitely has both, bringing real flair to the likes of ‘I Want To Break Free’ and ‘Under Pressure’.

The latter saw him share the spotlight with Galileo’s love interest Scaramouche, a part which gave Kyla Dean her first leading role.

Bringing real grit and determination to her performance and a strong and sassy delivery of her dialogue, Kyla was a great choice for the feisty and strong willed girl who wasn’t scared to voice her opinion.

But both she and Frazer showed a softer side in ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ .

It was a song that they could have very easily hammed up to high heaven and blasted out but they brought real sensitivity, allowing the lyrics to speak for themselves.

‘Only The Good Die Young’ was another shining example of the mature manner in which the young cast went about their task.

Like Kyla, Abigail Hood was at the top of the cast list for the first time as Meat but my what a first impression she made.

Whilst also giving ‘I Want It All’ some real oomph, it was the spine-tingling ‘Only The Good Die Young’ that gave Abigail her shining moment.

I’m struggling to think of a more energetic performance given in a local production than the one given by Patrick Davenport as Britney.

He ensured his character Britney Spears packed a rockstar punch and looked like he was having an absolute ball on stage.

In a show of stellar performances, Nicole Mavin was right up there with the best.

She seems to be growing in confidence with every show and looked at home as resident diva Killer Queen, making light work of big numbers like ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ and ‘It’s A Kind of Magic’.

Killer Queen’s hire at help Kashoggi gave Alex Curle his biggest role to date and with an on stage demeanour beyond his years he commanded every line and lyric.

Impressive in every show I’ve seen them in, Karl Laidlaw and Christopher Maud were once again in fine form amongst a cast who brought bucket loads of passion and commitment.

Ensemble numbers ‘Headlong’ and ‘We Will Rock You’, encapsulated the team spirit amongst the cast and it was a great shame there wasn’t a full house there to see them shine on opening night.