A top-class display of acting talent can be found at Falkirk Town Hall this week, where Big Bad Wolf Children’s Theatre Company (BBWCTC) members are passing every test with flying colours.
Report cards for the cast of Disney’s High School Musical On Stage are filled with straight As — a fact confirmed by the grins etched onto theatregoers’ faces throughout.
Based on Peter Barsocchini’s original Disney Channel film, BBWCTC’s 11th annual production tells the tale of the blossoming relationship between high school jock Troy, charismatic Daniel Scrymgeour, and science whizz Gabriella –gifted singer Amy Allan.
The duo — who frequently kick off a series of songs featuring rousing full-cast choruses — meet on holiday where they sing karaoke together before rediscovering each other in class at East High School.
Troy and Gabriella’s desire for a relationship and to audition for the school show together encounters a stumbling block in the shape of East High School’s leading lady, Sharpay (Abby Renwick), assisted by her more caring, yet equally entertaining brother Ryan (Paul MacDonald).
The show centres on the lead pair’s pursuit of happiness and, while the plot keeps the story moving, it is the effort the BBWCTC actors and actresses put into their well-rehearsed and highly athletic routines that ensures the audience is thoroughly entertained along the way.
A stellar line-up of supporting cast members, including Troy’s best friend Chad (John Sherlock) and Gabriella’s science classmate Taylor (Hannah Parsons), enhances the on-stage dynamic.
Notable mentions must also go to school announcer/joker Jack Scott (Euan Arthur), pianist Kelsi (Karis Black), passionate baker Zeke (Aidan Harland), decathlon competitor Martha (Sophie Kennedy), spotlight-stealing drama teacher Ms Darbus (Daisy Campbell) and Coach Bolton (Freddie Bang).
The comic timing of class goof Jason (Callum Allan) is memorable and just as impressive as the basketball-swirling and cheerleader-throwing dance choreography.
Newest BBWCTC members, aged eight to ten, compliment the production brilliantly as cheerleaders and the Wildcat Basketball Team.
I also have to credit the ever-changing set design for giving the show an extra dimension.
Director Lindsay Dowell and the rest of her production team have come up with the perfect answer to this high school conundrum.
:: Disney’s High School Musical On Stage takes place each night at 7pm at Falkirk Town Hall from tonight (Wednesday) until Saturday. There is also a Saturday matinee at 2pm.
PRINCIPALS: Troy Bolton, Daniel Scrymgeour; Gabriella Montez, Amy Allan; Chad Danforth, John Sherlock; Taylor McKessie, Hannah Parsons; Ryan Evans, Paul MacDonald;
Sharpay Evans, Abby Renwick; Zeke Balfour, Aidan Harland; Martha Cox, Sophie Kennedy;
Jack Scott, Euan Arthur; Kelsi Neilson, Karis Black; Jason Cross, Callum Allan; Ms Darbus, Daisy Campbell; Coach Bolton, Freddie Bang.
CHORUS: Katy Walsh, Ross Sinclair, Erin Lake, Shelby Walker, Eve Pearson, Lois McKean, Erin Hartel, Jorja McFadden, Ella Dowell, Jessica Riddoch, Casey-Jo Kennedy, Cara Russell, Amy Gallacher, Robbie Allan.