Game on for young people’s festival

Courtney-Ann Baker as Emma Jackson in Goldsinger.

Courtney-Ann Baker as Emma Jackson in Goldsinger.

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Trailblazing troupers were on their marks for a well-timed production ahead of this week’s Olympic Torch’s arrival in Derbyshire.

The 80-strong Pomegranate Youth Theatre kickstarted the annual Young People’s Festival on Sunday with a production focusing on the Olympics, presented in front of a large audience.

The opening piece challenged spectators to imagine the Greek gods taking part in the first ever Olympics, one sport which was thrown out in the planning stages was naked javelin!

Next up at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate was a condensed version of The Odyssey, a masterpiece in characterisation, particularly from the lad playing Cyclops who emerged with a small boy peeping out from under each arm.

The older members of the company brought song into their performances, with nods to the Spice Girls, Adam Ant and Queen’s We Are The Champions in a comedy based on the myth of a female disguised as a man to enter the Olympics.

Synchonised movement from window cleaners, chefs singing Macaroni to the tune of Macarena and crisp choreography from security guards brought the house down in a comic sketch focusing on what would happen if Brtain was gridlocked and competitors couldn’t reach the games.

A large audience greeted Newbold and Springwell Schools on Monday evening.

The show began and ended with Newbold’s vibrant musical selection. Les Miserables figured strongly in the upbeat first segment, alongside classical and church music, popular numbers and the ukelele band.

The cast of dozens featured Edward Jowle, singing in Italian without benefit of microphone.

Attitude characterised their second segment, especially from the boys! The music ran the gamut from Josh Groban to Bruce Springsteen, and a feisty unnamed girl singer brought the house down with Don’t Tell Momma.

Springwell’s filling in the Newbold sandwich was a little meatier. Goldsinger was a topical mini-drama about a girl who fought discrimination and bullying to live her dream of singing at the 2012 Olympics.

The Springwell youngsters found the Pomegranate stage and auditorium a challenge, but came into their own during the miked musical numbers.

l The festival continues tonight, tomorrow and Thursday.