You better move it, move it for this spectacular show these school holidays

Author: Jim Wiseman

Date Published: September 30th 2018

Colourful, exciting, fast moving and very much a show to entertain all ages.

This is the Youth Theatres 199th show and aims and achieves the high standards expected of the group.  Those who know the DreamWork’s story will not be disappointed. The cast are all young but very experienced in the main roles.  

The central group of Alex lion (Matthew Edgar), Marty zebra (Vaughan Birss), Gloria hippo (Grace Gutschlag) and Melman giraffe (Manu Wotton) captivate the audience as soon as they enter. The singing is lively and choreographed well and the costumes wow the audience immediately. The troublesome penguins, led by Skipper (Casey Jenkinson), make their mark early as ‘trouble brewing’.

Marty’s opening song, ‘Wild and Free’, deserves mention, as the strength of his voice sets the tone for the whole show. There may be very young voices performing but Melanie Carruthers and Sophie McCarlie have trained them well.  

As the show progressed I looked to the back of the theatre where the techies were seated. Sound, lights and music operated by the crew. All were 12 or under. And no noticeable technical difficulties. When Madagascar was reached, the Limas, led by King Julian (Sophia Evans) made their mark on the show.  

Young Sophia was particularly strong and apparently only 9 years old. The appearance of the Foosa, (a Madagascan cat-like carnivore), brought drama to the stage and the young audience responded well.

If you have young children to entertain over the holidays, or are an adult who likes entertaining theatre, get to the Theatre Royal this week. The show runs Monday to Thursday, 2pm and 7pm and Friday 2pm. The show is double cast. You can book through the Theatre Royal website.

Krackalacken Good Fun

Author: Tracy Saunders

Date Published: October 3rd 2018

The atmosphere was energized from the moment I walked in to the Theatre Royal to attend the Nelson Youth Theatre production of Dreamwork’s- Madagascar a musical adventure JR. The kids in the lobby were itching with excitement – many of them going to their first live theater production. Booster seats in hand as the doors opened they were transported into magical world where Marty a Zebra at the Central Park Zoo makes a birthday wish to go back to the wild where he was born Marty drags all his animal mates on this crazy adventure one hour adventure from New York to Madagascar.

The moment Marty bounds on stage we know we are in for an incredible performance. Marty played by Tiana Simpson has an incredible voice, excellent comedic timing and wonderful stage presence. Alex – Marty’s best friend and sidekick played wonderfully by Michaela Carruthers adds to the misadventure and the two lead a wonderful cast. King Julian played by Sophia Evans with her Jamaican me crazy attitude and excellent vocals had us laughing in our seats and Casey Jenkinson as Skipper the leader of the Penguin Brigade who stay in character the entire show.

The entire chorus in this production is to be commended as the vocals when they were singing were strong and added to the total effect of the show. They had so many costume changes and parts to play, kudos to the entire costume and makeup team as they were fun and effective – especially the steak!

It was nice to see so many young people working the lights, and assisting backstage. These Jr. productions are perfect for young audience members as parents are encouraged to allow their young children to get up and dance and or sing any of the songs they know. In addition, at the end of the show they can come up on stage and have their photos taken with main characters. Kids are encouraged to come in costume as they can win a pass to Natureland for best costume at the performance As Marty says get “Krackalacken” and get your tickets to this wonderful production.