Review: Theatre Through The Ages

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Theatre Through The Ages is an amalgamation of theatrical favourites. From dazzling musical numbers to classic dramatic extracts, there is something for everyone. The Collingwood Players curate a fantastic mix of performances, showcased by an incredibly strong cast. Taking place in Mark Hillery Arts Centre, the end on stage is complete with a raised platform and LED lights. The cast and the direction that they have been given create a fun, energetic and entertaining piece of theatre that expertly showcases the best that the wonderful world of theatre has to offer.

As a collection of individual numbers, the creative team has to be congratulated on the choice of their selection and order of their pieces. The show contains pieces that are comical, emotional, romantic and moving, as an audience member this keeps the show fresh and it never feels one tone. The pieces also vary in length which again keeps the individual pieces different and the entire show engaging. They order these in an impressive manner too so there is a slight contrast in terms of tone between pieces but not too much of a change that it comes as a shock. This keeps a nice flow to the overall showcase. A prime example of this is the transition from ‘Falling Slowly’, performed by and to Fleabag Ella Brannen.

As a collection of individual numbers, the creative team has to be congratulated on the choice of their selection and order of their pieces

The singers in the showcase are absolutely exceptional. A mention must go to the entire ensemble. In group numbers such as ‘Food Glorious Food’, the ensemble sounds brilliant, their diction is particularly impressive as a collective and you don’t miss a word. After the first act the ensemble opened the second with the number ‘I hope I get it’, which includes cast members entering as the interval still goes on. They begin to stretch as if they were about to audition for a show. Slowly, the whole cast enter and this transition into the second act is genius, as it warms the audience up to get ready for the next instalment of performances. Creative transitions also feature in the main body of the performance. Between the ‘Cell Block Tango’ and Present Laughter , who brilliantly embodies the physical comedy of his character, storms on stage to interrupt the ‘Cell Block Tango’. The entrance is startling and comical and is different from a regular blackout transition. Ensemble numbers are fantastic however at times movements and dance numbers lose the sharp finishes and starts that give them definition, which can mean some movements become out of sync. However, this is only a minor point.

Individual performances are just as powerful as ensemble performances. A stand-out performer is Cate Cowper. Her solo performance of ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’, is quite simply outstanding. Cowper makes the song her own. Mixed with her powerful and pitch-perfect vocals this is an impressive performance. Cowper later duets with in ‘Let Me Be Your Star’. Cowper and Rogers are a dynamic duo and accurately portray their characters’ desperation. Rogers also has an impressive voice and is a talented performer as is evident in her performance of the ‘Cell Block Tango’. The two create wonderful harmonies and their performance is one to remember.

The pieces also vary in length which again keeps the individual pieces different and the entire show engaging

’s performance of ‘The Light in the Piazza’ is incredibly heart-warming. She effortlessly captures her character and owns the stage. This performance is followed by a moment from the classic Blood Brothers. and grasp the dynamic of the mother and son relationship and Lo’s performance of the young Micky is nostalgic and packed with charm. Another favourite moment of mine is the performance of ‘The Nicest Kids In Town’. performs as the charismatic Corny Collins, as the perfect host the ensemble keeps up the energy Clark gives off.

The acted numbers are just as strong as the musical numbers. and ’s performance from Deep Blue Sea, showcase their talent as performers and the two work with each other very well and create atmosphere on stage effortlessly.

Overall, Theatre Through The Ages is an incredibly enjoyable watch. The dance numbers, singing voices and acted performances are all amazing. It showcases the best of theatre and every performer and member of the creative and production team should be congratulated on such a fantastic performance.  

Image credit: Collingwood Players

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