Enthusiastic youngsters show Lytton's got talent

Review - The Show With No Name, Stevenage Lytton Youth Theatre, Nobel School

The enormous cast of children - I counted 42 names - presented a variety of songs, dances and sketches to fill a two-hour programme.

The performers, aged between six and 17 were not picked by audition, but by willingness to take part. This meant the standard did vary. However, they all did well.

I was particularly taken with the singing abilities of Alice Rush in her interpretation of On My Own from Les Miserables, Adam Rush and Laura Thompson in a very funny duet from Spamalot, The Song that Goes Like This, and Gemma Carter singing Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from The Phantom of the Opera.

Some of the best moments, featuring the entire cast, were the opening number Love and Money, and the concluding numbers, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and Masquerade, taken from The Phantom of the Opera, with everyone carrying masks.

I liked the tap numbers, Living La Vida Loca and the Getting Ready Rag, which featured Alexandra Paterson, Courtney Varty, Jennifer Woolley, Holly Evans, Alice Rush and Laura Thompson.

Unfortunately, the space here is too short to list the entire cast who all pulled together to make a great evening's entertainment.

Several of the items had been written by the cast, which showed great enterprise, and there was a running series based on The Lord Of The Rings which I found as incomprehensible as the book and the film.

However, it did provide one of the best moments of the show - a diminutive girl playing a hobbit was told to leave the stage, and as she departed crestfallen with everyone saying "Aaah!", she turned and said to the audience "Don't patronise me!" which got the biggest laugh!

The show was directed and produced by youth group leader David Slade with musical direction by Leigh Smith.

By theatrical standards, it was somewhat slow with too many waits between scenes, but this must be forgiven due to the sheer enthusiasm, excitement and vitality of the cast, helped by an appreciative audience of friends, parents and grandparents.

To steal titles from television, I would say 'The Kids Are All Right' and 'Lytton's Got Talent'.

Eric George - The Mercury, June 2008 Reproduced by kind permission of the Hertfordshire Mercury