24 - 26 June 2016
Director – Emma Jane Sweeney
Musical Director – Ian Southgate
Honk! Jr. is a musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story The Ugly Duckling, incorporating a message of tolerance.
The book and lyrics are by Anthony Drewe and music is by George Stiles (of the British songwriting duo Stiles and Drewe).
The musical is set in the countryside and features Ugly – a cygnet who is mistaken as an ugly duckling upon falling into his mother's nest and is rejected by everyone but Ida (his mother), a sly tomcat who only befriends him out of hunger, and several other barnyard characters.
A review of this show by the NODA representative Tessa Davies
A Startlingly Good Show
Performed at Ingatestone Community Theatre on Friday 24 June 2016 at 7.30pm
I do love going to see Young Expressions productions, it is such a pleasure to see an organisation working to encourage young people to perform, gain confidence and enjoy themselves and this is exactly what Young Expressions is all about.
The cast, this year, was much younger but it is pleasing to see that there are still a large number of children wanting to perform on stage. All the principal characters were really good, speaking out well and producing good characterisations. James Ravenscroft as Ugly, gave a strong and confident performance and Rose Whitwam, playing Ida was excellent. Her facial expressions were a joy to watch and she gave a very well balanced performance. Faith White was the cat and, although the characterisation was there I would have liked to see a few more ‘catlike’ behaviours in her performance. The four ducklings were good, played by Jack Doyle, Felix Bloom, Alicia de Goni-Parks and Lauren Best, they spoke out well. The rest of the principal characters were all good, unfortunately, there just isn’t the space to mention them all by name but the stage presence of these young people is well demonstrated and the example they set to the younger, newer, members of the cast was good to see.
The rest of the company joined in with enthusiasm and were clearly enjoying themselves on stage, again lovely to see them singing out and working hard. Director Emma Jane has got their measure and always manages to produce some excellent musical numbers from them.
As always the costumes were well thought out, in the main, and the scenery was perfect, with just a few movements needed to change the scenes. I think the only thing that disappointed me was the sound. I really felt for Rose Whitwam, who had several songs and seemed to have a non-working mic for the first part of the show. It did work after she had gone off stage (eventually as she is on for a long time at the start of the show) so I assume something was done to rectify the problem. However, she had four songs in the first half and it was such a shame that we were unable to hear her, properly, for most of them. There really is no excuse for this type of technical problem and, when the children are working their socks off to perform, it is most unfair on them.
The large audience clearly enjoyed the show and I am so pleased that Young Expressions continues to flourish, long may that be the case.