Review: A Christmas Spectacular at Yeadon Town Hall

THIS particular production by Futurist Theatre Productions was entitled “A Christmas Spectacular” and it certainly lived up to its name. Great singing, brilliant choreography and every member of the company giving 110 percent.

The show opened with two young children anticipating the arrival of Father Christmas whose Elf duly appeared to take them on a magical journey including a visit to his workshop in Lapland. In this first scene of six throughout the evening there were five songs, performed by the 18 adult members and 14 junior members of the cast. One of the numbers in this first scene, “There Is A Santa Claus” was performed solely by these youngsters. To conclude the scene, we enjoyed a delightful ballet scene entitled “Waltz of the Snowflakes”.

The next scene was set in Santa’s Workshop where the arrival of Santa brought great applause and gasps of admiration from the youngsters in the audience. Again there were five musical numbers including You’re a Mean One Mr Grinch admirably performed by James Sidgwick. The scene ended with the delightful song Hallelujah beautifully sung by Olivia Shillito.

To link to the final scene of the half, Santa sat talking to the two children about the Christmas story and the birth of baby Jesus which led into the Nativity sequence of four numbers including a beautiful rendition of Hark The Herald Angels Sing with three of the male vocalists as the Three Kings. These had processed through the audience and onto the stage to create the Nativity scene.

The scene immediately after the interval was entitled Winter Wonderland and started with a beautiful solo of the song Pure Imagination from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory sung by Tom Patrick. Also in this scene was My Favourite Things beautifully portrayed by Charlie Clarke followed by two duets - Winter Wonderland / Let it Snow by James Sidgwick and Hannah Rebecca and Me and My Shadow by Alex Wright and Thomas Whelan both of which were extremely well performed.

A choral scene followed comprising four numbers and culminating with an excellent rendition of Pie Jesu by Adelaide Waugh and Charlie Clarke. The final scene was entitled All Around The World with different songs from various countries. There was excellent choreography for a Deck The Halls Hoedown followed by the children singing Dominick The Donkey. Another duet of Once Upon a December by James Sidgwick and Tom Patrick was followed by the group number of I Saw Three Ships. I particularly enjoyed the penultimate number in the show of the Lambeth Walk which was interspersed with Sleigh Ride. And to finish off the evening what better than the classic song White Christmas. An encore of Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday rounded off what had been a magical evening of entertainment.

Director and Choreographer Catherine Moglia who trained under Yoko Ichino at the Northern Ballet needs to be greatly applauded for putting on such a spectacular show as does Robert Sanders who with his seven musicians on strings, brass, guitars and timpani provided great backing for the singers. Robert kept a check on the level of the orchestra so as never to drown the performers which has been sadly lacking at a number of shows I have seen over recent years.

If this performance didn’t send the audience away in a totally Christmas mood, nothing will. A great night of entertainment by a most talented group of singers and dancers. Well done, everyone concerned.

by John Burland