THERE’S some great music in Pendle Hippodrome Youth Theatre’s production to “The Likes of Us”, which is on stage this week.
The leading performers are excellent singers and there is some lovely chorus work, too.
It is a musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber - not the most famous of their pieces, of course, but it is a good account of how Dr Barnardo established his children’s charity.
It is directed by Andrea Jackson, Lisa Manley is musical director and Vicky Royle provides the choreography.
Chris Sunderland stars as Barnardo, and his singing is really impressive. His solos went down very well with the audience on opening night. But he also acts well and produces a good character.
Evie Rapson as Syrie, his partner, is also splendid. She has a great voice and her acting is good, too.
And Laura Schofield as Rose, a controversial Cockney character, also sings with aplomb and has real stage presence.
There are nice pieces of acting, too, from Dayna Edington (Jenny), Neil Salway (Johnny), Stephen Collinge (Cockney Boy) and Brogen Riley (Cockney Girl). Brogen is another lovely singer and we will no doubt see more of her in future shows.
The narrators had important roles. They are Jacob Baldwin, Katie Rapson and Charlotte Stephens, and they tell much of the story - with skill.
Chris Goff makes a good Prime Minister, Samantha Ross is an entertaining auctioneer and Tom Scothern takes a great lead in perhaps the best of songs - “Have Another Cup of Tea” - backed well by the chorus.
It is hard to decide which are the favourite songs - there are so many, but arguably “A Strange and Lovely Song”, “This is My Time”, “A Man on His Own”, “Going, Going, Gone” and “Hold a March” are tops.
The stage set works well, there is some good lighting and projected pictures, and although there were initial sound problems on the first night, they were very rapidly restored.
You can see “The Likes of Us” at the Hippodrome in New Market Street, Colne, tonight and tomorrow from 7-30 p.m.