Review of ‘Never Forget’ by Stage Chance in Beechurst Hall Soham on 22nd April 2010

It is a tremendous privilege to be invited to attend one of the best parties in town and this is what it felt like to be in the audience of Stage Chance’s ‘Never Forget’. The stage was packed with vibrant, attractive and talented youth – all mostly under 18 – who sang, danced and acted their hearts out. It was impossible not to be moved by this wonderful show and when the whole cast sang ‘Never forget’ at the end of the evening, tears were not only appearing in the performers’ eyes as those who were leaving sang their goodbyes.

Top notch acts included items from ‘Annie’, ‘42nd Street’, ‘Fame’, ‘Wicked’, ’Grease’, ‘West Side Story’, ‘Hairspray’, ’Priscilla Queen of the Desert’, ‘Sister Act’, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Fosse’ and there was a host of popular pieces from the past: ‘Don’t stop believing’, ‘Over the Rainbow’, ‘Hallelujah’, ‘9-5’, ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough’ and ‘Proud Mary’.

It is hard to single out the performers that shone the most, for they were all, very, very good. However, for me the highlights were songs that really tugged the heartstrings sung by Lucy Bell (‘Out here on my own’) and Rebecca Storey (‘I’m not that girl’). Robyn Howe’s (‘Over the Rainbow’) was especially easy to the ear.

The Capetown Crew provided a startling and captivating surprise as they stepped, clapped and sang songs from Africa with native-like assurance.

The choreography by Katherine Hickmott was positively dazzling and followed the musical expression very effectively. It was a testament to Daniel Bell’s amazing direction that masses of participants dashed swiftly on and off stage, whirling and twirling as one or shaping themselves into highly attractive tableaux.

Pictures flashed on a screen at the back of the stage and tributes interspersed the performances so that we could share the memories of this amazing cast. Even Morecombe and Wise had a place (thanks to Ryan Hutton and Jack Shorney). The grace of Hannah Pyrah dancing ‘Songbird’ was unmistakable and the charming performers dancing the ‘Sailor’s Hornpipe’ revived many a fond memory.

The band was first rate and consisted of Melody Bell (keyboard), Tim Taberner (electric guitar), Mark Bell (saxophone), Tom Cross (percussion), Tom Claringbold (bass guitar) and Mark Oreilly (trumpet). It is at this point that one may notice that the Bell family is indeed a highly talented lot. A committed team of supporters, costumes. lighting, sound and minimal scenery were also essential ingredients in this fantastic show.

Their next production, ‘Fame’ on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th September 2010 is a must.



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