Phantom Reviews

Unmissable show from these young performers

The iconic masterpiece is brough to spectacular life by one of Derby's most exciting youth drama groups.

During rehearsals at Paris Opera House, temperamental diva Carlotta quits her role and is replaced by Christine, a company member who has been taught to sing by a mysterious teacher.

Christine is cast as the lead, eliciting communications from an unseen benefactor intent on helping Christine to succeed. But when Christine reunites with childhood sweetheart Raoul jealousy turns her benefactor into a vengeful murderer...

Derby Youth Musical Theatre are fearless and ambitious in tackling the classics and this is by far their greatest triumph yet.

A sumptuous set is complimented by gorgeous costumes (respect to Judith Evans, creating almost 130 outfits!). But the heart of Phantom is the performances and all are near-flawless.

Backed by a superb chorus, filling the stage with extravagant routines, the performers are exceptional - Amy Coggle's soaring vocals as brattish diva Carlotta, George Groom's noble Raoul, the joyous hikinks of Dylan Brady's Firmin and William Evans' Andre. The vocals are exhilarating, hair-raising even.

But the undoubted stars are James Highton's powerful, Charismatic Phantom, his considerable presence dominating the show, and Scarlett Wainwright's astonishing performance as Christine - an absolute revelation, the equal of any West End lead.

Their chemistry is wrought with real emotion, the heart of a production fully deserving of its full house standing ovation and tears that followed. Never was a Guildhall audience so enraptured.

I'm humbled to see such stunning talent reach such heights. Unmissable.

Kevin Redfern

Derby Telegraph, posted September 18th 2015.

 

Review of Phantom by NODA

A most welcome newcomer to NODA, and what an entrance, with a towering presentation of this Lloyd-Webber classic. This has to be in the top ten of any musical that I have reviewed in the past eight years. I felt privileged to be in the audience, sharing the enjoyment of this production by such a talented array of young performers.

A classy set was the backdrop which certainly created the right mood. Costumed exquisitely, and together with excellent lighting and sound, made exactly the right environment for the cast, and what a cast. Outstanding as The Phantom, James Highton gave a powerful portrayal, dominating throughout, with superb delivery of his vocals and gaining sympathy with his moving portrayal as a man bent on vengeance. On a par, Scarlett Wainwright as Christine, truly moving as the heroine, soaring vocals that would not go amiss in a professional production. James and Scarlett complimented each other perfectly. As Raoul, George Groom was sympathetic and convincing, extracting the most from his role, again superb vocally. I liked Amy Coggle as the Diva Carlotta and Curtis Taylor-Tipton as Piangi, excellent pairing.

The comedy extracted by the theatre owners, Dylan Brady as Monsieur Firmin, and William Evans as Monsieur Andre, was an absolute delight. Also worth a mention, Madame Giry, played by Katie Byrne and her daughter Meg played by Emily Redlaff. Out of all the wonderful music I particularly liked the Notes/ Prima Donna number, a very difficult piece, with eight in perfect harmony.

Backed by a wonderful chorus and dancers, all playing their roles to the full, this whole company gave an exceptional performance, fully justifying the standing ovation at the finale.

Holly, Charlotte and Caroline, and all involved should be very proud of this outstanding piece of Youth Theatre.

Keith Scott-Savage

Derbyshire South, NODA, posted 26th September 2015

 



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