Review: When The Lights Go On Again, Joseph Rowntree Theatre

‘Had the audience enthralled’ – the York Musical Theatre Company cast. Photograph: Andrea Denniss / Pink Lily Photography
22 Oct 2015 @ 5.00 pm
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When the Lights Go On Again by York Musical Theatre Company

Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York

Till Sat Oct 24


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York Musical Theatre Company provided a night of live music, sketches and songs from wartime with their musical When The Lights Go On Again.

The diverse cast performed a wide range of acts from an era when the people of Britain, suffering the hardships of war, so desperately needed to keep spirits high.

We’ll Meet Again, There’ll Always Be An England and Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree are just a few of the heart-warming songs in the concert-like musical.

This isn’t a show to pick out individual performances, instead it is one to celebrate the York Musical Theatre Company’s cast as a collective.

As a group they sing beautifully together and have the audience enthralled from the very beginning.

All the cast members, young and old, compliment each other fantastically. The success of this show is down to each and every one in the company; this includes the school choir who feature twice in the show.

Crying with laughter

Singing their hearts out – the children in the show
Singing their hearts out – the children in the show

It was rather special to witness the children enjoy singing their hearts out to the classic nostalgic tunes.

The set design was minimal. But then, the costumes alone were all that was needed to fill the stage and transport the audience to the Forties.

Paul Laidlaw who devised and directed the show was also the pianist, and one of the trio of excellent musicians who were visible on stage throughout most of the performance.

They encouraged the audience to sing along and raise the roof of the Joseph Rowntree Theatre.

It would be impossible for me to write this review without mentioning the hilarious end to Act 1.

This was a sketch about a rather peculiar rehearsal for the village’s amateur pantomime. After some very much needed last minute cast changes, we enjoyed the hilarious performance of the panto.

The entire audience was left crying with laughter as the curtain came down – I never knew that nostalgia could be so enjoyable – a must see!