The hottest ticket in town last weekend was for King Edward VI High School’s stellar production of High School Musical.
From the opening number, Wildcat Cheer, the performance crackled and sparkled in an explosion of light and colour.
Intensity and focus from all of the cast, combined with razor sharp timing, brought real laugh out loud comedy moments, as well as jaw dropping dance routines.
Stratospheric production values matched the performances on stage with incredible costumes and set design. The interval came all too quickly, with a whirlwind of slick scene changes creating a seamless medley of breathtaking showstoppers.
The characterisation and chemistry between the lead roles moved the story along convincingly, while the impeccable American accents of the supporting cast transported the audience all the way to Albuquerque, with not even a trace of native Northumbrian all evening.
Absolutely every player on stage brought their part to larger than multi-coloured life.
The second half shimmered through touching romantic ballads between Troy and Gabriella, When There Was Me And You and Start Of Something New, then soared to ever dizzier heights as the touch paper detonated Bop To The Top, Breaking Free and We’re All In This Together, with Ryan and Sharpay stealing scene after scene.
But the phenomenal work rate and energy levels of the entire company is what made the evening such a spectacle, with the audience clapping and singing out of their seats — entertainment at its absolute all singing, all dancing best to send everyone home with a song in their heart and smiling all over their faces.
When bad news blights the airwaves, this young, very talented cast reminded us “we’re not the same, we’re different in a good way”, with the show’s stunning finale.
Heart warming, life affirming, unmissable and utterly, utterly brilliant.