Rotherham Civic Theatre / 2 - 7 November 2009

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The Show!

FAME poster

Classic tale of teen rebellion and repression features a delightful combination of dance choreography and realistic and touching performances. When teenager Ren and his family move from big-city Chicago to a small town in the West, he's in for a real case of culture shock. Though he tries hard to fit in, the streetwise Ren can't quite believe he's living in a place where rock music and dancing are illegal. There is one small pleasure, however: Ariel, a troubled but lovely blonde with a jealous boyfriend. and a Bible-thumping minister, who is responsible for keeping the town dance-free. Ren and his classmates want to do away with this ordinance, especially since the senior prom is around the corner, but only Ren has the courage to initiate a battle to abolish the outmoded ban and revitalize the spirit of the repressed townspeople. Fast-paced drama is filled with such now-famous hit songs as the title track and "Let's Hear It for the Boy."

The Cast!


Ren McCormack - Scott Johnson / Ethel McCormack - Elaine Demaine / Reverend Shaw Moore - Ian Fryer / Vi Moore - Rachel Marshall / Ariel Moore - Nicola Jeffs / Willard Hewitt - Jonnie Halliwell / Rusty - Amy Vickers / Urleen - Catherine Harban / Wendy Jo - Chloe Lilley / Lyle - Mauric Widdop / Travis - Jake Simpson / Jeter - Luke Taylor / Chuck Cranston - Alex Wilkins / Bickle - Jonny Stewart / Garvin - Jordan Chaim / Lulu Warnicker - Olive Garner / Wes Warnicker - Simon Kelly / Coach Roger Dunbar - Steve Morrell / Eleanor Dunbar - Catherine Foster / Principal Harry Clark - Andy Waldie / Cowboy Bob / Cop - Jonathan Taylor / Cowboy Bob's Band - Becky Hart, Beverley Ibbotson, Rebecca Morement, Korri Skinner

Dancers Louise Bashford (Dance Captain), Gemma Bartholomew - Kenyon, Ashlea Booth, Louise Eyre, Claire Mullins, Caroline Myers, Tanya Palmowski, Becky Peech, Natasha Stacey, Louise Turner, Scott Walker, Charlotte Wall, Rachel Ward

Ensemble Beverley Ibbotson, Selina Foster, Jude Gray, Dawn Haley, Marsha Kelly, Barbara Matthewman, Shirley Sayles Tracy Sheldrake, Sue Skidmore, Mandy Ward, Korri Skinner, Rebecca Morement, Becky Hart, Clive Richardson, Chris Fenn, Jordan Chaim, Jonny Stewart, Luke Taylor, Jake Simpson

The Production Team!

Director / Choreographer : Dee Bennie-Marshall

Musical Director : Heather Jackson

Director's Cut

Director - Dee Bennie-Marshall
"Dare I say that blood, sweat and tears have all played a part at rehearsals; but, so too have fun, laughter and excitement. I feel that we have all become very emotionally attached to this show and there will be a lot of tears shed on our last performance. Our newest challenge has been working on wheels!!!! None our cast ever thought they ‘d be roller skating on the Civic Theatre stage!!! But here at Teachers’ we thrive on doing things new and different, and the skating has certainly given us a few laughs at rehearsals. "

The Reviews!

Click the review below to read the write up!

NODA - Les Smith

An exciting production

This society is in the lucky situation of having an exceptionally capable youth group who are starting to put their talents to use in the parent society. The show requires lots of modern movement and this is where director Dee excels - she can get young people to do what they had no idea they could do. This action was counterbalanced with strong performances from more experienced players. An exciting production, with a clever underlying story.

Rotherham Advertiser - Amy Parkes

Thank God dancing
isn't banned in Rotherham

Just as the dark winter nights start to tighten their oppressive cloak around us and the weather is sending a chill down your spine along comes a show packed with colour, catchy tunes and energetic dance routines to put the spring back in your step. Proving that Rotherham Teachers' operatic society is not qualified for the fusty, carousel-obsessed stereotypes of small town am-dram groups elsewhere in the country, it's members bounced on to stage to the deliver this vibrant production.

The tale of teenager rebellion shot to fame in the mid-80s when a youing Kevin Bacon wooed female audiences as Ren McCormack, a street-savvy teenager prepared to kick up a stink in the small town of Beaumont... where dancing is banned Thank God dancing isn't banned in Rotherham.

I had barely reached my seat when the teachers burst on stage with a perfectly choreographed performance of the show's title track and had the audience captivated. The pace was set for a high-paced evening of dancing and singing where neither cast nor audience were given a moment to catch their breath.

The story sees Ren (Scott Johnson) battle the town's clergyman, the Rev Shaw Moore, over the ban on dance which the Rev imposed following a road accident which saw four young Beaumont residents - including his own son - killed on their way home from a dance in a neighbouring town. Tests following the accident showed that the youths may have consumed drink and drugs and, as the Reverend looked for someone to blame, it was dance that was vilified and outlawed. The resulting show is a lesson and in the fun and freedom brought by getting on the dance floor to "cut loose."

Leading the way for the Teachers are Scott, Nicola Jeffs as the Rev Moore's rebellious daughter Ariel, and Ian Fryer as the Rev Moore. All delivered accomplished performances which surmounted the vocal demands of big tunes with simultaneous dance routines with aplomb. Scott's rendition of I Can't Stand Still was worthy of extra special praise along with his ability to recreate Kevin Bacon's trademark Footloose jump.

Doing their best to upstage the lead roles with show-stopping performances, however, were Amy Vickers as Rusty and Jonathan Halliwell as Ren's right hand man and comedy sidekick Willard Hewitt. While Amy delivered stirling renditions of the show's big numbers Holding Out For A Hero and Lets Hear It For The Boy, Jonathan's comedy timing, range of expression and faultless performance of the grin-inducing Mama Says won him huge applause.

But the professional standards of dance, music and onstage performances were what really shone through, a slightly wayward lighting man the only hiccup. Ensuring that the civic has its calendar of events bolstred by amateur groups of such a standard is what truly makes the town worthy of the new arts complex which has been proposed for the town. Dance, colour and song like this is just what the town needs... just look what it did in Beaumont.