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Shout – Adlington Arts and Music Society

It’s colourful, it’s bright, it’s true 60s, and it ain’t half good! With a colourful set, depicting the style of the swinging 60s, complete with an array of colourful umbrellas, psychedelic design, and several levels, this set is used to its full potential. Backed by a band of five, the sounds of the 60s fill the auditorium from start to finish, as each number was vocalised, choreographed, and delivered with style.

Director and choreographer Christian Brabin presents a marathon of stylised routines befitting of the era which certainly gives this production the required authenticity.

Musical Direction, by Louise Watson is bang on. Although these numbers are classics, they do take some singing and the musical direction here was clear and well defined, complete with strong harmonies.

The colour girls worked tirelessly. Orange, Blue, Yellow, Red and Green. All different colours, representing the fact that the five girls are all different, and aren’t they just!

Blue girl is vain and unpopular. Celia Dixon is every bit the sophisticated model and makes “Don’t sleep in the subway” her own and goes on to deliver a stunning “You’re My World” / “All I See Is You” with Orange girl. Louisa Watson.

Red, complete with convincing Geordie accent is played with a subtle naivety by Meredith Atherton.  Billed as the baby of the group, her insecurities are soon diminished as she gains confidence, resulting in a cracking rendition of “Those Were The Days”.

Providing the right amount of sass, and throwing all inhibitions to the wind, Kimberley Barker plays a vibrant Green girl and delights with a “I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love” and a brilliant parody of “Goldfinger”, entitled “Coldfinger”!

Orange girl, Louisa Watson, oozes stage presence and gives this character an air of independence, quicky ascertaining that she stands no nonsense. “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” was a particular favourite for me, performed with sincerity and a clarity that really made you listen to the lyrics.

Completing the colourful 5, Charlotte Greaves is simply stunning as Yellow girl. She plays a loud, brash American too well!  Vocal dexterity is well on display as she bounces for one number to another with ease, displaying differing vocal styles. “Son of a Preacher Man” was an absolute showstopper. Charlotte also portrayed poignant moments well, especially around the reveal of the domestic troubles.

The 60’s were full of agony aunts, and here we have Gwendolyn Holmes. Allison Fox looks the part, complete with twinset and pearls. A good characterisation with a comedic touch which was not overplayed.

The Colour Girls were backed by a super ensemble, all in 60s dress and hairstyles to match. Caroline Budge, Emma Hickson, Hannah Sutton, Heather Hodgson, Jane Cleary, Joanne Lister-Ward, Kirsten Whittle and Natalie Beaumont all deserve a mention as they performed routine after routine faultlessly.

Given the events of recent years, this “trip” back to the 60s was just what was needed, and if the reactions from the packed auditorium were anything to go by, I conclude that a good night was had by all!

Paul Cohen