David Essex OBE

Arlene Phillips CBE

David Wood OBE

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Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama graduating showcase


Published by The Stage.


There is certainly a party atmosphere at the Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama (MADD) showcase, with disco music at full volume to welcome the guests and flashy lighting to complement some of the chorus numbers in the show. Director Emma Clayton has put together a production that is punchy, colourful and offers a decent example of the graduates’ talent and training.

Diverse, upbeat numbers from South Pacific, Young Frankenstein and Thoroughly Modern Millie demonstrate the energy and commitment of the graduating year. These are accompanied by some exciting moments of modern dance and soaring ballads, but unfortunately also some rather uninspiring dramatic pieces.

Holly Wathall slips out of the opening chorus to deliver a startlingly strong rendition of Gimme Gimme from Thoroughly Modern Millie. Wathall allows the number to build slowly but surely, adding drama and context to the lyrics, but the real drama comes from a stunning belt out that raises the roof at the Criterion. It’s a surpri

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