Rosemary Westwell reviews High School performed by Witchford Amateur Dramatic Society (WADS) on Friday, December 1.  

From the first cartwheel over the stage, the production of High School by WADS at Witchford Village College was a vibrant, energetic and brilliant production that was a sheer joy to watch.

It was easy to become fully engrossed as the characters came to life and the plot moved along swiftly and clearly punctuated with a kaleidoscope of continuous, skilfully-crafted choreography and slickly presented tableaux. 

Ely Standard: The show was performed at Witchford Village College on Friday night.The show was performed at Witchford Village College on Friday night. (Image: ROSEMARY WESTWELL)

The main characters, Gabriella (Rose) and Troy (Rhys), were excellent. They sang beautifully, their natural voices not strained or over produced as so often happens.

Troy, in particular, managed to give an air of ease and richness that gave his part and voice a special quality.

Grabriella’s voice was also exquisitely polished and pleasant. We witnessed their trials and tribulations as they struggled to pursue a secret desire to sing while they were accepted by their peers more as a science nerd (Gabriella) and a basketball captain (Troy).

With all the obstructions put in their way, it was a great joy to see them overcome them and succeed in winning the lead parts in the school musical.  

Their main rivals were the two sisters: Sharpay (Summer) and Ryan (Phoebe-Marie), who pushed themselves forward and, driven by jealousy, connived to thwart Gabriella and Troy.

As the sisters cavorted and flaunted themselves about the stage, there was no doubting their intentions and talent.  

Likeable characters, Chad (Toby) and Taylor (Antonia), secret cake-maker Zeke (Emily), Martha (Lilly), Kelsi (Courtney) and radio hosts Polly and Holly all added spice to the mix.

The argument between drama teacher Miss Darbus (Kate) and Coach Bolton (Zack) over whether the students should attend drama rehearsal or basketball practice was very realistic – all too familiar to this retired music teacher who used to help put on school musicals!   

The ensembles, under the expert leadership of Dani, were a real treat. It was obvious that a LOT of work had gone into this fantastic production and the ensembles in particular helped make it.   

The work of the huge production team, too, undoubtedly grounded the show securely and helped make this production so successful.

The key leaders, Lucy Short, chair of WADS and producer as well as directors and choreographers Charlie-May and Zack are to be congratulated for such an outstanding show, full of such pizzazz and budding showmanship – unforgettable! One that will surely go down in history.