Youth show just oozed sheer class

AFTER a string of successful Calder Valley Youth Theatre shows – including Les Miserables, West Side Story and Our House – Sweet Charity, presented at Halifax Playhouse, might at first glance have appeared a weak choice, writes Graham Robbins.

But not this production, which simply oozes professionalism from beginning to end. The high standards this junior society has set – and which frankly put many an adult society to shame – are undoubtedly due to strong production values, a hard-working committed cast and the talented, dedicated production team of musical director Dave Mitchell and director/choreographer Debbie Barker.

In the lead role, Otti Gauvain as Charity was outstanding. Her flawless command of the role and her natural stage presence, together with some beautifully controlled singing and exuberant dancing, was nothing short of stunning. She was well supported by her fellow streetwise “hostesses”, especially Georgia Lomax-Thorpe as Nickie and Lizzie Bradley as Helene.

Todd Wilson as Oscar Lindquist exhibited some extremely accomplished character acting.

Dalton Wood (Vittorio Vidal) and Bertie Yates (Herman) both displayed fine singing voices in their respective cameo roles and the ensemble dazzled the audience with such numbers as Rhythm of Life, The Frug and I’m a Brass Band.

A splendid 15-piece orchestra, cleverly designed set and lighting together with some slick and stylish choreography put the professional gloss on this show.