Thursday, 17 August 2017

REVEIW: 13 at The Ambassadors Theatre


Jason Robert Brown is now a household name but before Parade no one really knew who he was. The Last Five composer first took Songs for a New World off broadway and rose to acclaim with Parade. Now he’s bringing 13 the story of a young boy who’s life is turned around when his parents start going through a divorce. Uprooted from New York Evan Goldman needs to find his place in the ever changing social conundrum which is a new school. 

The show is being brought to the stage by The British Theatre Academy after their triumphant performance of The Secret Garden last year. 

The set is minimalist and simple with a large map of Appleton Indiana to show us where each scene is happening. Colourful and vibrant, it’s a well used device. 

The cast revolve and so for this show the part of Evan was played by Milo Panni who was fantastic. His energy and focus was so professional with vocals to match, he had such a lot to learn he was characterful and great to watch. He carries the show well and accompanying him are Madeline Banbury as Patrice and Ethan Quinnas Archie who are equally as talented. 

Madeline is great to watch on stage. Her voice is very powerful and en pointe. Masterful over the quick Sondheim-like lyrical patterns JRB is very fond of, along with the developing voice she reminds me of a younger version of Sherie Rene Scott. 

Ethan is very funny. His comic timing is good and his characterisation is well rounded. His comical delivery is natural and very comfortable on stage. They make a grand trio and have great chemistry together.

The talent of these hard working youngsters doesn’t stop there. Playing Lucy is
Isaberlla Pappas and what a voice she’s got! Very strong and powerful. 

Every young person on that stage deserves the praise they get. There is no doubt they have worked hard and each actor on that stage gives a stellar performance. BTA are clearly doing something right with the way they are training these young people they truly are the future of musical theatre. 

Finishing on the 23rd of August at the Ambassadors Theatre. 

Review by James-Lee Campbell

Rating: ★★★
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