Cafe Crescendo. The Late Show
Performed by Royal and Derngate Youth Theatre
Written by Christopher Elmer-Gorry
Directed by Christopher Elmer-Gorry and Trudy A. Bell
Back for The Late Show of Cafe Crescendo and what a show it was! Gone was the ghostly trimmings and the early show and we were now seated at tables with crisp white tablecloths and candles.
This could be described as a cabaret show with a difference. The difference is that entwined throughout the performance there is a love story that tests the strength of a relationship between Jessica (Lauren Moody) and Daniel (Ryan McLean).
We are treated to some great musical numbers in this show and New World when first heard is a real west end production. With a solo by Lauren Moody, joined by the ensemble and some spectacular dancing, this is a pretty awesome start. The New World theme is sung by Lauren throughout the show and really ties it all together.
As the Cafe slips in time, we are entertained by a wonderful flapper dance. Lovely choreography and high energy performed in very close proximity to us the audience.
A real star turn was Francesca Chaisson as Annie with a ripping version of Maybe This Time. Sung with heart and passion it was superb. Judy Garland would have loved it!
As the love story developed, even more great music. This time, it was Tomorrow Is a Lovely Day sung to a much more upbeat rhythm than recorded by Vera Lynn.
A young lady by the name of Michaela Blackburn then blew the entire place up with her rendition of a song that started There’s a Light. Wow! Great voice and great production with the ensemble around her.
Our two young lovers are having a tough time as Daniel tries to persuade Jessica to come to Edinburgh with him and find a job while he studies. Jessica is treated to a song called Just a Housewife featuring Amara Browning, sung with such sincerity by her and the ensemble it undoubtedly triggers doubts in the mind of Jessica and quite right too!
Falling Slowly was sung by the ensemble and at this point I have to make an apology to the group that were standing next to me. I was unable to contain myself and joined it and I can only imagine how off putting that must have been for them. I was quickly put in my place by a dig in the ribs from my wife and allowed the real singers to finish alone and unaccompanied by me.
The audience were allowed to decide the fate of the young lover and we decided that they should go their separate ways, much to the consternation of Mr Elbourne.
Ryan as Daniel then treated us to a heart rendering song called Some Other Life. Sung with feeling and passion, I am sure there were some audience members that regretted their harsh decision.
This was a brilliant show, perfectly performed and a total joy to be part of. For me, Lauren Moody stole the show as the troubled Jessica and her singing coupled with her acting were amazing. Ryan as a leading man was the perfect complement to this role.
A great night each and every one of you. Many thanks for sharing your talents with us.