I can only feel sorry for whoever had to cast this production with the vast array of talent on show it must have been a nightmare to make a decision and they can only be thankful that is was possible for all who auditioned to take part even if not in the part they might have wanted. Direction and choreography are demanding tasks in their own right but, to take both on requires a supreme knowledge of the musical theatre genre, obviously a level of experience held by Laura Canadine who with the assistance of the aforementioned cast and the musical prowess of Ben Batt as MD has managed to create a production that delivers on every level.
So many famous faces have taken on the part of Little Miss Woods, Elle and that list can now be enhanced with the name Phoebe Bruerton, a voice and persona that could very well have been made for the part, playing opposite Joe Riley who is a relaxed, charming and exceptional actor with a flawless singing voice in the role of Emmet Forrest, again made for the part and made for musical theatre.
Sally Griffiths is a deliciously comic and creative Paulette Bonafonte, Lewis Johnson a professionally authoritative Professor Callahan, Solomon Davy a confidently debonair Warner Huntington III, Issy Checketts an appropriately outspoken Enid Hoops and in what is the embodiment of a reserved yet subtly powerful performance, Ella Morgan shines as Vivienne Kensington.
It seems unfair to single out any of the ‘Girls of Delta Nu’ as they all create a superlative team performance but, Karina Foster (Serena), Abbie Mason (Pilar) and Hannah Dean (Margot) lead that team with confidence and sparkle.
As the saying goes, ‘never act with children or animals’ but, the combination of youth and canine talents is without doubt a joy. Upstaging the humans are a brace of doggy delights in the form of Paddington Canadine as Bruiser Woods and Ralph the Bulldog as Rufus, both endearing themselves to the audience within in seconds of appearing on stage.
Ellie Hartill is athletically convincing as fitness empire queen Brooke Wyndham and if there is a ‘show stealer’ it has to be Ben Evans in one of many guises as UPS Guy, Kyle B. O’Boyle a flagrantly opportunistic gem of a performance.
It’s sadly impossible to mention every name in an extensive and obviously talented ensemble cast but, certainly watch out for the dance at the end of ‘Gay or European’ between Jack Pearson as Nikos and Owen White as Carlos, Maya Bowles as a loud and brash Chutney Wyndham and an amazing piece of choreography for ‘Elle’s Flashy Presentation’ to Harvard.
Not sure there are many tickets left for this run which finishes on Saturday 30th March 2019, so all I can say is what ya want you wanna be getting your hands on a ticket if you can.