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13, CYGAMS- Chelmsford


Written by Jason Robert Brown this coming-of-age musical, is the perfect vehicle for a teenage cast under the expert guidance of Director, Jimmy Hooper and it doesn’t disappoint.

Evan Goldman, following the divorce of his parents, moves from New York City to Indiana, potentially ruining his 13th birthday and upcoming Bar Mitzvah celebrations. Desperate to fit in he navigates the complicated social circles in a new school.

The set was a visual representation of the exuberance of the musical, covered in colourful graffiti with two sets of steps either side. The band under the confident baton of Bryan Cass, was exactly the right level allowing us to hear all the vocals and was an excellent support to the production.

Oliver Blowers as Evan gave a confident and steady performance as the troubled 13 year old ably matched by Olivia Surgett and Gene Gardner. Olivia sang beautifully and gave a touching performance as the bookworm Patrice and Gene found all the humour in Archie, the boy with muscular dystrophy, on his crutches.

Phoebe Hooper was head cheerleader Kendra, Phoebe was very sweet and gave us a strong performance, Kendra was easily manipulated by her ‘supposed’ best friend Lucy, ably played by Fortune Ibrahim. Fortune was sassy and conniving as Lucy trying to win her best friends boyfriend Brett.

Hugo Kalair as Brett played the perfect jock, trying to be cool but more interested in his tongue action than anything else. His backing group of Richie, Malcolm, Simon and Eddie, played by Freddie Estall, Tommy Edwards, Elliot Greaves and Joe Papalie delivered some stunning dance moves but the vocals were a little dodgy in places. However, this did not detract from the humour and personalities these four lads brought to the production.

On the opposite side, Cassie, Charlotte and Molly played respectively by Jess Martin, Layal McClean and Edith Clements all delivered excellent vocals and their characters shone throughout the entire production. I was particularly impressed with Edith tonight who I think will be a rising star of the future.

This was a strong production all around and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Congratulations to all involved.

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