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Nomads Musical Theatre - Showtime Market

17th to 19th March 2016.

Review from Newbury Theatre and the Newbury Weekly News.

Carousing café culture

Nomads directing debut for Ellena Maskell

Nomads Musical Theatre: Showtime Market, at New Greenham Arts, from Thursday, March 17th to Saturday, March 19th

Nomads were back at New Greenham Arts for their annual Showtime recipe of songs from musicals, this year with Showtime Market. The stage was set up as a market place with a café and a couple of stalls selling odds and ends. All very colourful and well decorated, and giving the cast the opportunity to mingle in the background when they weren’t singing. This was very well done and the unobtrusive market activity enhanced the show.

We were given 18 songs, cleverly linked by a series of stories running through the production. Daniel Maskell's script gave the cast the chance to act as well as sing.

With a large and predominantly young cast – 31 of them – some songs worked better than others but they were all enjoying themselves and this came across strongly in the ensemble pieces, particularly the finales of the two acts.

Jon Lovell and Ellie Selby brought the show to life with Serious from Legally Blonde, a beautifully played and sung misunderstanding between the two. There was more humour from Nikki Harrison and Colette Jones in Bosom Buddies, and the first half ended with the company singing Somebody’s Got Your Back with gusto.

In Act 2, Kath Burns and Bobbie Anderson squared up for a fight in What Is This Feeling, followed by Neil Harvey’s strong voice and confident acting in Moving Too Fast.

After being ignored by everybody and given some flamboyantly delivered forceful advice by Grace Ryder in Loud in the first half, Melissa Hughes gave a very strong and heartfelt rendition of Happily Ever After. Grumpy café worker Andy Pocock got the emotions just right for Don’t Let Me Go and Fern Barthorpe gave us some quirky humour with Pulled.

The singers were clear and loud, with no microphones, (but why speak with an English accent then sing with an American accent?) and Nic Cope’s three-piece band had the right sound level to accompany them.

Ellena Maskell, directing for the first time, brought together the singing, acting and choreography in a fast-moving and enjoyable mix.