Godspell in Concert

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I was excited to see these talented children in concert with an array of west end stars perform Godspell at The Cadogan Hall in London’s Sloane Square.

The British Theatre Academy promises to provide high quality training and performance experiences to young people from all of the UK, regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds.  Something which they should be truly commended on, as it is obvious from the delight on all the young peoples faces that this was truly a night to remember for them and the experiences gained are something they can all take forward with them in their journey to stardom.

The presence of the west end performers certainly lifted the spirits of everyone involved, and mention must go to Luke Bayer and Max Bowden.  Both showed their true professionalism, as despite performing with script and presumably little rehearsal time, they did not let the energy drop one bit and seemed to know exactly what was going on at all times, ensuring a slick and professional standard production.

Laura Baldwin’s rendition of Day by day was tour de force, a perfect example to all on how to deliver a showstopper.  The young girl leading the sign language for this number also deserves a mention as does the choreographer who managed to incorporate the signing into the children’s dance moves.

We were also treated to a spectacular version of Turn Back O Man from Rachel John (which also showcased the best choreography and dancing in the show) and a flawless performance from Ramin Karimloo.

As a concert version, it was sometimes difficult to understand the story and know which characters were being portrayed, even having seen Godspell once before.  I think one would need to know the show very well, to completely follow the acting scenes.  This was further hindered by the sometimes-overenthusiastic performances from the children, leaving us struggling to hear/understand the dialogue in places.

In particular, the first half was, in places a little insincere and overplayed, however, one must also remember that these are children in training, and as the older more experienced children showed, will be ironed out as they grow in experience.

I did enjoy the modern-day references with the use of mobile phones, Donald Trump and Barak Obama and felt these could have been explored even more throughout the concert.

It was so lovely to see a live band on stage throughout and the standard of the singing from the children was outstanding, with some breath-taking harmonies throughout.

The dancing was inventive but really required further rehearsal to tighten it up to match the standard of the acting and singing abilities of the cast.

I would have loved to see some sort of programme (even if just a sheet of A4 paper) to see some of these rising stars names, and be able to watch and follow their careers, which I am sure, thanks to the vision, training and opportunities The British Theatre Academy offer, will be spectacular.

Review by Amy Farlie

To find out more about The British Theatre Academy visit their website.

If you like this review of Godspell you might also like my review of Come From Away, Eugenius and Bring It On.

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