Stars explained: * A production of no real merit with failings in all areas. ** A production showing evidence of not enough time or effort, or even talent, and which never breathes any real life into the piece – or a show lumbered with a terrible script. *** A good enjoyable show which might have some small flaws but has largely achieved what it set out to do.**** An excellent show which shows a great deal of work and stage craft with no noticeable or major flaws.***** A four star show which has found that extra bit of magic which lifts theatre to another plane.
Half stars fall between the ratings


Youth Onstage

The Old Rep


FOR their tenth anniversary production, Youth Onstage have chosen Barry Manilow's musical about an aspiring young song writer who falls for a wannabe night club star, and the young cast make a big impression.

Despite a few problems with the sound equipment on opening night they delighted the audience with the quality of their singing and dancing, Trudi Ford's choreography lighting up the stage at times.

Dominic Harris, who has appeared on the X-Factor, gives a remarkable performance as Stephen, ambitious to write a hit musical while creating a song about Lola la Mar and imagining he is tending a bar in the famous Copacabana night club.

It's Dominic's seventh and final appearance with Youth Onstage before studying at Birmingham School of Acting, and he should go on to achieve his ambition for a showbiz career.

Hannah Brook is excellent as Lola, James Hudson proves a commanding figure as Italian gangster, Rico - a role he stepped into just three weeks ago - and Eleanor Snowdon performs well as the crook's ageing girlfriend, Conchita Alvarez.

Costumes are impressive in a lively show directed by Deb Brook with Chris Corcoran's musical direction. To 12.05.12

Paul Marston

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