Once in a while a show comes along to blow you away, reminding you of the talent which is being nurtured close to home.
Showcases have many a parent bursting with pride but when they conjure up the same effect in those viewers who have no links to the young performers, then they must be special.
Such was the case for me while watching the students of Chesterfield’s Directions Theatre Arts putting heart and soul into a scorching production.
A sparkling showcase of musical theatre, dance, gymnastics and song was served up with polish, grace, skill and versatility in sweltering conditions.
As large fans attempted to cool the Pomegranate Theatre last night (Tuesday), the biggest fans were in the audience clapping and cheering every twist and turn that this production took.
Variety was the spice of the night with an adventure into panto land to kick off the fun. Jack & The Beanstalk, written by Jessica Spanier, was set in the hard-up kingdom of Chesterfield and followed the traditional tale with a few surprises along the way.
Ellie-Rose Walker as Jack and Emma Southworth as Jill put in lovely performances, their Reach for the Stars duet was beautifully performed.
Favourite scenes included little dancers dressed as Superman, Batman and Wonderwoman spinning around the stage to the song Holding Out For A Hero, Jared Lancaster’s comical Dame with multiple costume changes and the tap-dancing cow (Milly Schleifer and Megan Hemingway).
Ellie Osbourne showed herself to be a rising star in the role of Jack’s sister June, her animated expressions were so appealing. In the second half, she proved her worth as a singer with a well-performed solo, True Love’s Kiss.
Ben Featherstone as Fleshcreep made a pretty mean singer as he belted out Jailhouse Rock.
Sublime dancing in the second half began with a seductive burlesque ballet and an imaginatively choreographed piece entitled Run in which the performers sprinted, leapt and danced their way across the stage in a spectacular display of teamwork and timing.
Awe-inspiring feats of gymnastics, human pyramids and body contortion contributed to the heady mix of entertainment.
Tap-dancing women proved that lessons aren’t just for the under-20s as did Chesterfield’s answer to Take That - Chris Measham, Ashley Crowther and John Crowther - who worked their magic on classics such as Rule The World and Relight My Fire.
Directions Theatre Arts choir entertained the audience prior to curtain up which made a refreshing change to recorded music.
The showcase will be staged tonight and tomorrow at 7pm.