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We Will Rock You – HATS Youth

We will Rock You, by Queen and Ben Elton is packed full of the band’s familiar songs. Upon hearing the introductions to the plethora of songs, you are transported into the world of bohemians, Gaga Kids, Teen Queens and Super Yuppies!

HATS Youth have taken on this challenging piece and made short work of it as they effortlessly bound through the slightly tangible storyline which links one cracking song after another.

The 16 strong cast, including 7 principal characters, display they have taken on Matthew Kellie’s clear direction, perfected Natalie Beaumont’s creative choreography and taken on board George Baldwin’s careful musical direction as each aspect of this production was polished and well delivered.

As an ensemble this company was energetic, strong and a force to be reckoned with. They knew this piece inside out and it showed. Understanding the story and its ethos throughout, culminating in a superb performance of Bohemian Rhapsody. It was so good to see these young performers engrossed in their performance. A true team effort.

Supporting principals,  Amber Maria, as a ‘sassy’ Brit, Ebony Williams as a ‘no nonsense’ Oz, and Edward Hesketh as ‘chilled out’ Buddy, all turned in credible individual performances that were characterised well and performed just right, adding to the strength of this production.

Keen to ensure a future where everyone looks and thinks the same way, Khashoggi menaces his way through, trying, without much success, to get the population to think the way he and his people do, along with trying to track down a hidden VHS tape. Ben Brooks looked every bit the part, looking dapper in a Sharp suit, dark glasses, and a persona to match. A confident performance and every bit the baddie he should be.

Leading the cause, and the boss of Khashoggi, Killer Queen is calling the shots, and this is done in formidable style by Ruby Charnock. Strong, confident, and as arrogant as the role requires, Ruby gave this her all, as she instructs that the rebellious ones are captured.

Young Goth, Scaramouche, is also on Khasoggi’s radar to capture. Desperate to fine someone to love, Scaramouche wears her heart on her sleeve. Eadie Gosling is perfect for this role. Cracking voice and suitable demeanour, you find out that she means business as she stands up for her rights. Eadie proved beyond doubt that she knows how to perform.

Finalising the principal cast, and leading this production, Gallileo Figaro is the pivotal role which requires an actor of strength, depth, and the ability to characterise. Seb Holbert is superb in this role and met the afore mention credentials in spades. Stunning vocals, delivered with ease, great stage presence, which came across as a natural ability, and an energy that filled the stage, Seb made this part his own and, along with his fellow cast members, has a promising performing future in front of him.

The cast had the audience in the palm of their hands from start to finish, and as the final applause subsided, the audience could be heard singing and humming the infamous tunes as they left the theatre – a true sign of a job well done.

Congratulations to the cast, crew and production team at HATS Youth for a super production.

Paul Cohen