Young Performers are young professionals

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TO NDR Legally Blonde Review


DIRECTOR: Themi Venturas


VOCAL DIRECTOR: Desirè Govender

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Shemual Mahabeer

CAST: A cast of 35

VENUE: The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre

UNTIL: Sunday

RATING: ****

OVER the years the Young Performers initiative has gained respect for its achievements in honing young talent, bringing the best out of students and producing professional shows and this year has seen the bar raised a notch.

This year the Rainbow Young Performers – through the efforts of the Performing Arts Network of South Africa, Rainbow Chickens and a host of co-sponsors – brought Legally Blonde – The Musical to the local stage.

The show presented an opportunity for 35 high school students from across the region to be trained under leading theatre practitioners and get their 15 minutes of fame when they perform on stage.

The story of Elle Woods and her quest for love – and in effect identity – is a coming-of-age tale of this college sweetheart and homecoming queen whose perfectly planned life spirals out of control when she is dumped by her boyfriend Warner, who is himself on a quest for a “serious” future.

To prove her seriousness, and really follow what she thinks is true love’s course, Elle works hard to be accepted by Harvard Law School and eventually is. It is in the unfolding of this journey that we are treated to an entertaining show.

The cast deserves a pat on the back for a job well done. It is evident these students have worked hard to achieve what we see on stage.

I was blown away by the talent. From vocal management through the songs to the choreography to performing their characters with such ease. A professional performance from the lead characters. They really did well to get under the skin of their characters and not come across as high school students acting on stage.

On opening night Robyn Ivey played Elle to a pink T – nailing all the mannerisms, facial expressions and personality traits of the character with aplomb. Rory Morrison (Emmet) pulls off his character with ease too, making it easy to warm up to Emmet.

Ashley Oneal Stapelfeldt (Paulette) is an energetic presence and her vocal capabilities are amazing. Georgi Borros (Vivienne) may have the unlikeable character in the storyline, but she holds her own and gives Vivienne life.

Adam Mohamed (delivery guy/Harvard professor) gives his smaller roles a sense of magnitude. Similarly, Thulani Gumede, in the smaller supporting roles, maximises his moment to shine. Deneska Theron (Serena) deserves a mention for really getting into the choreography.

Daisy Spencer has outdone herself in managing the choreography of the show and the cast have done well to keep up with high-paced movements.

By the end of the show, I was like: “OMG you guys!” Seriously, these Young Performers are that good.

• Tickets for Legally Blonde – The Musical are R100, R80 (discounts) at Computicket.

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