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 Broad Strret Variety Newcsatle AOS @ The Mitchell Memorial Theatre, Hanley

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PostSubject: Broad Strret Variety Newcsatle AOS @ The Mitchell Memorial Theatre, Hanley   Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:34 am

TALENT SHINES BRIGHT IN VARIETY OF WAYS - by Victoria Power
09:40 - 17 April 2008

Broad Street Variety Mitchell Memorial Theatre, in these days of cynicism, with high-profile companies churning out sell-out runs of highly commercial theatre, some people must be nostalgic for the days of Variety Theatre. For me, Variety has always been a great indicator of true talent.

If you can perform successfully in an???erm???.variety of stage productions, your chances of making it big-time and staying there are vastly improved. Bruce Forsyth is hardly stuck for work into his eighth decade - and if they play their cards right, some of the members of Newcastle Amateur Operatic Society will be the same.

The first opening numbers of Broad Street Variety gave me the feeling that we were all in for an evening of slightly dull tunes. I quickly realised my mistake as group after group put their heart and souls into putting on a great show.

The first half was dominated by traditional numbers such as Wunderbar and Good Times Are Here To Stay, and whilst these were all very enjoyable, I didn't start to sit up and pay attention until Daniel Jones and Ricky Wood took to the stage in a short rendition of Blood Brothers. Having seen Blood Brothers approximately one million times, I was stunned by the energy and confidence put in to this polished and highly professional-looking performance. Their skill was further enhanced as they performed Everybody and Gimme Some Lovin' from Blues Brothers in the second half, which featured more modern songs. Jones in particular is clearly extremely comfortable on the stage and he kept popping up all over the place for the rest of the show, dancing acting and singing.

Another unexpected delight was Holly Reynolds, performing a haunting rendition of Over the Rainbow a la Eva Cassidy, making me raise my eyebrows in astonishment at her vocal talent. There was also the obligatory run of Andrew Lloyd Webber show tunes but luckily for Newcastle Amateur Operatic Society, I enjoy the work of Sir Andrew and sang along quite unashamedly.

Although I felt that both the opening and closing numbers were fairly weak and uninspiring, and there were some shaky sound problems (which can befall the strongest of professional productions), Broad Street Variety really did have something for everyone.
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