Review – CTC Dear Edwina Jr

Dear Edwina Jr, Cabaret Theatre Company
Brewhouse arts centre,
Guild Street, Burton.

There is a new addition to the local companies to watch out for at the Brewhouse.
Cabaret Theatre Company was formed last year by Sally Everson, principal of the Cabaret Theatre School, to give her senior students the opportunity of performing a musical each year and their debut show at the Brewhouse was a barnstorming success.
Dear Edwina Jr is a little-known show but it is a glorious all-singing all-dancing romp.
The children’s musical by Zina Goldrich (music) and Marcy Heisler (book and lyrics). It is about Edwina Spoonapple, 13, who gives her neighbourhood friends and family advice through musical shows.
Edwina comes from a talented family and because of this she perceives herself to be ordinary.
Yet she has many talents which she uses to give advice to local children through the musicals she organises with her friends.
Her desire is to make it to the ‘Advice-a-palooza’ festival as she feels that will prove she is as talented as her siblings.
Dear Edwina Jr follows her journey through its ups and downs until she realises what is really important to her.
The cast of 20 youngsters, directed by Daniel David Webber and choreographed by Miss Sally showed great poise and professionalism, not to mention style and pizzazz as they took us through the show they put on for the neighbourhood children every Sunday afternoon.
Some of the songs had quite intricate lyrics but they were delivered clearly so the audience was able to catch the wordplay. There were many songs but stand out for me was the first half closer Fork, Knife, Spoon which not only combined a tricky song that had a continuous refrain behind the main duet but also involved the actors brandishing items of cutlery in very close quarters movement and was superbly realised.
The second half did not let up as problems came and were solved by Edwina and her merry band. With Hola Lola and Put it in the Piggy stand out song and dance routines.
A word for Harry Whetton as Scott, one of the two male roles, who gave a great scene-stealing turn as the pig. The company is also looking for more boys to join up for next year’s show.
Every single performer lit up the stage with their presence and there was a wonderful sense of camaraderie projected across the footlights.
A stunning debut by the company on the Brewhouse stage that was thoroughly enjoyable and one that has set a very high benchmark for future shows. It is a pity that there is not a longer run.
Stage manager was a former pupil at the Cabaret Theatre School, Chris Moss.

Bill Pritchard.

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