Viva Youth Theatre! is not just the name of this company from Cambridgeshire but the sentiments that this excellent production engenders. A show without an obvious lead has a cast of twelve with quality throughout.
The story is set in a second-rate nightclub in a provincial English town - a nostalgic look back to the mating rituals of the 1960s dance club. The show is packed with great songs, and the cast are at ease when singing solo, duets and harmonies. The lyrics are clever and you do wonder why this show has had such limited outings in the west end. Numbers such as the comic "Twiggy" by Sue, and the plaintive "Seventeen" by Sharon together with "Love on Our Side" with Terry and Shirl were memorable, while the others were merely very good.
One of the highlights is the bits of business that the cast maintain throughout reacting to the main action without detracting from it. The group of five girls started this show with a bang with slick choreography and this standard was maintained by the lads who worked well together and added some of the best comedy moments.
Eric, the club owner and ageing dancer was very credible as their confidant and led the audience participation in Eric's "Hokey Cokey." This number demonstrated how confident these young people were in their ability to produce a quality show. Apart from playing their parts, some of the lads interchanged as musicians in the band held together by the keyboard player.
The company describe themselves as a team, and if football clubs could produce 90 minutes of this standard of entertainment then their fans would be very happy!
Times: Aug 12-16 at 16:15, plus Aug 16 at 12:50