Thursday, 17 June 2021

Cast of kids gave it their all but sound failed to match promise

OH my God, you guys! The Wycombe Swan Summer Youth Project was such a great production of Legally Blonde. The huge cast of kids gave it their all and there were pink, fluffy suitcases full of talent on the stage.

First mention has to go to the production team, every child knew exactly where they should be, what they should be doing and when they should be doing it and that is no mean feat. Plus, the confidence in the cast can only come down to a truly supportive environment and that was a real pleasure to see.

Leading lady, Emily Fryer, had an incredible voice and she played the part very intelligently with the right balance of sorority girl and powerful woman.

Her tone and accent were ideal for the role and although she wasn’t the strongest of dancers, I thought she did a great job with characterisation and kept an enviable energy throughout, commanding the stage.

Charlotte Springs’s portrayal of quirky Paulette was sensational — total commitment, a powerhouse voice and she was naturally funny and entertaining. Emmett was likeable and charming, Vivian, Brooke and Enid gave truly impressive performances. The whole cast did such a great job.

My main criticism has to be the sound.

Late microphone cues were a frequent occurrence and the band were overpowering at times.

As Elle belts out what is arguably the longest note in musical theatre in So Much Better, all I could hear was a tambourine. My companion, who hadn’t seen the show before, actually struggled to keep up with the storyline as so much was being missed.

The cast can certainly work on projection and diction but I did feel they were let down by sound.

The set design was very effective and the costumes were on point. The band were strong although I did feel they lacked a bit of groove and drive at times. It’s such a high energy show and needs to really push forward.

Overall, it was incredible for a youth production. Better than I have ever seen for a cast of that age. I hope they can get the technical side right moving forward as it is really something special.

The message of the show is to be yourself and this project is encouraging children to do just that and that is such a great thing.

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