SOMEONE call a doctor, there’s animal fever among Stafford Gatehouse Theatre’s summer school stars.
The youngsters opened last night after three weeks putting together this year’s production of Doctor Dolittle.
Sam Morris as the doctor showed composure beyond his years in his first lead role and was convincing in his arrogant and condescending attitude to Emma (Annie Davies), who was in return supremely feisty.
The chemistry between the two shone as they played out the age-old battle of the sexes as though they had been married for years.
Tom Slade in his summer school swan song as the doctor’s Irish assistant Matthew Mugg proved yet again what a class act he is and what a master of accents.
The three of them and more besides will say goodbye to Stafford Gatehouse Youth Theatre as they head out into the world and off to university but if the theatre is losing some veterans there is a new breed of tiny stars coming through at the other end of the age scale.
Charlie Tiernan was just one of them – his portrayal of Dab-Dab the Drake was hilarious – a comedy genius in the making, full of character and cheeky charm.
With the minimum of props to cramp their styles, the full character of all the animals was given ample space to shine and shine it did – every member of the cast gave full flow to their shrieks, quacks, woofs and neighs – at one point it actually sounded like a zoo in full song, a creature cacophony.
If success is 10 per cent inspiration and 90 per cent perspiration the standard of the talent on display year in year out at the Gatehouse summer school speaks volumes for the production crew, all industry professionals who put the kids through their paces for three weeks teaching them everything they need to know backstage and onstage to put a show together.
Stafford Gatehouse Youth Theatre seems to have a production line of talent – testament to the work ethic instilled in these youngsters over the years and the dedication of the production team who are all industry professionals imparting their considerable skills. This year’s crop of homegrown star quality is no exception.
The glorious harmonies in the chorus reprise of Talk to the Animals was straight out of the Hollywood musicals.
Add in a 14-piece orchestra led by musical director Ben Kennedy and you could be sitting at any high end adult production.
Yet another winner for Stafford Gatehouse youth theatre. Doctor Dolittle will be at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre until Saturday. For times and tickets call 01785 254653 or visit www.staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk.