On Thursday we were lucky to attend the final night of the Malet Lambert Summer Showcase, an evening of entertainment from students past and present which lasted around 120 minutes but, due to the great quality of the entertainment on show, seemed to be over in seconds.
The evening started with a warm introduction to the evening’s entertainment from outgoing Head Girl Ellie Holmes, who provided narration for Matilda, whose introduction to each section helped to keep the evening flowing between costume and set changes. Her enthusiasm was shared with her audience and she set the stage for the night’s entertainment.
First up was Hairspray. As I had not seen Hairspray before I was unsure of what to expect, but the performances by the talented young cast were brilliant. The 20 minute segment didn’t feel like an amateur performance, and the great deal of effort put into rehearsals was there to see. The section flowed smoothly, the transitions between sets was flawless, and the quality of the singing was superb, certainly above and beyond what you would expect from your average school production.
The second section of the evening was Mama Mia, a musical based around the music by pop super-group ABBA. Again the quality of the singing was excellent, and the set looked great. There was clearly a large amount of effort making the set feel natural, and the painting work on the set was very well done. The performance of this section felt very fluid and didn’t feel like it was several sections of a larger musical condensed into a 20 minute performance.
After Mama Mia was a section dedicated to solo performances from current and past students, showcasing some excellent singing talent. A special mention has to be made for Malet Lambert alumni Emily Drewry, whose rendition of Meadowlark was superb. Hessle Theatre Company will be performing The Baker’s Wife this week at the Hull Truck Theatre. Tickets for the performances can be bought from the Hull Truck Theatre website.
The final performance of the night was Matilda. The set again was well thought out and the quality of the production was superb, with excellent use of the projector to create the classroom’s blackboard. Opening with Miracle, the ensemble’s acting was excellent and very professionally done, and showcased some promising young actors. However it was the performance of Matilda herself that shone brightest. The rendition of “Naughty” was spot on, and the young actress captured the character of Matilda perfectly.
It is without doubt that some of the young performers on the stage that night can go onto great things if they continue to work hard and perfect their art, and we’re looking forward to spotting them in the not so distant future on the bigger stage.