Venue: Grand Opera House
Date: 03 March 2008
It would be almost impossible to have missed the phenomenon that was Disney’s hit movie, ‘High School Musical.’ Adored by fans ranging from 5 year old girls, to 35 year old men, the film became something of a contemporary classic in the world of musicals, and the new UK tour of the on-stage version brought these fans out in force (and in fancy dress).
The stage version, a national tour, playing at Grand Opera House, York until 8th March, was unfortunately hindered in its debut performance at this venue by unspecified technical difficulties. The show was 15 minutes late in opening and was also suspended for 5 minutes mid-performance.
These difficulties, however, did not deter the cast, who gave the energetic, professional performance expected from a Disney-created show. The live music, featuring songs from the film such as ‘We’re All in This Together’ and ‘What I’ve Been Looking For,’ was unfaultable. The set was innovative in design, and exuberantly rich in colour.
The performances from cast members were of a particularly high standard. The chorus danced their fast-paced, modern routines uniformly without amateur mistakes or mistiming. Ashley Day and Lorna Want, playing the lead roles of Troy and Gabriella helped to carry along a weaker vocal performance from their co-star Helen George (Sharpay), with their sharp, clear vocals and surprisingly believable American accents. The show is undeniably simple and saccharine, but you’ll undoubtedly leave the theatre with a smile on your face, humming the songs for days.
Tickets to this musical may be expensive, but the sheer energy of the West-End-standard performance is well worth every penny.