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Review: ‘Days @ Dear Old Brizz’ by Music Theatre Bristol @ Alma Tavern Theatre

There is no denying that your days at the university hold the fondest of memories. But for some of us, in few months time, it is time to say goodbye to beloved Bristol. Let those memories come flooding in as you bid farewell to ‘Dear Old Brizz.’

By Milan Perera, Second Year English

There is no denying that your days at the university hold the fondest of memories. But for some of us, in few months time, it is time to say goodbye to beloved Bristol. Let those memories come flooding in as you bid farewell to ‘Dear Old Brizz.’

Music Theatre Bristol (MTB) took to stage once more at the intimate theatre venue of Alma Tavern Theatre for their penultimate showcase for the term as they bring another showstopper year to closure.

The proceedings for the evening got off to a rollicking start with the deftly adapted version of ‘Dear Old Shiz’: ‘Dear Old Brizz’ from the musical, Wicked. Have you ever been embarrassed of some close friendships from the past? This captured those cringeworthy feelings to perfection by the brilliant Belinda Curtis.

‘Dear Old Brizz’ neatly segued into the evergreen musical number from Grease, ‘Summer Nights’ featuring Catrin Rees and Belinda Curtis. The duo set the tempo up for the night with a spirited rendition of the classic hit that was further embellished with the slick dance routines from Yun Jee Kang, Scarlett Gray, Ava Hinks, Reese Glasser, Aiobh McCann and Kate Jenkins. Then it was time for embarrassing revelations as Orla Whelan, Tayla Bayley and Emily Fox burst on to the stage and launched into a riotously funny rendition of ‘When I Kissed the Teacher’ from Mamma Mia 2 that sent the full house audience into a wave of laughter.

She is the one character in High School Musical that knew school is not everything. There is life beyond the confines of the alma mater. She has plans and ambitions outside romance. She is the epitome of true ‘girl boss.’ Nicole Antoine slipped effortlessly into the shoes of Sharpay Evans in the duet ‘I Want It All’ with Ben McNulty as Ryan Evans.

Now it is the turn of the beloved mothers to receive a dose of home truths for constantly swooping down on their daughters as if they are two year olds. Evie O’Brien, Yun Jee Kang and Scarlet Gray breathed life into Tracy, Penny and Amber from Hairspray as they led the gently but concerted rebuke against their mothers (played by Isabella Thathapudi, Rachel Bronnet and Angelique Trinder.) The sensational vocals were accompanied by energetic dance routine that went down a treat with the audience.

Preview: Wall(s) by DramSoc @ Tobacco Factory Theatre
Art of Grief by Spotlights @ The Pegg Theatre

Callum Throne tapped into his method acting skills as ably demonstrated in the DramSoc production of Manosphere, when he captured the menacing urgency and energy of JD from Heathers as he is planning to blow up the school and murder class mates in the number, ‘Meant To Be Yours.’ Evil scheming spilled well into the post-interval segment as Reese Glassar, Evie O’Brien, Fran McDaid, Ava Hincks, Calum Thorne and Orla Whelan provided a riotous rendition of ‘Revenge Party’ from Mean Girls which was further sweetened into a number of such delight with the high octane routine by Anya Grayson, Catrin Rees, Mariam Noura and Katie Jenkins.

Mia Rudden’s searing rendition of ‘Someone Gets Hurt’ from Mean Girls brought the house down as the duplicity and manipulation surrounding the belter of a song was perfectly captured by Rudden. It goes without saying that love and loss are sides of the same coin. ‘Some girls are meant to be alone’ muses Martha from Heathers. Scarlett Gray’s poignant rendition of ‘Kindergarten Boyfriend’ was latent with emotions as it sent the audience to a pin drop silence.

It was ‘Time To Dance’ as the enchanted evening reached its climax. All this comes down to a sweetened conclusion when Alyssa and Emma( Mia Rudden and Aoibh McCann) share a warm embrace. The riveting dance sequence by Eliesha Harvey, Emily Fox, Nicole Antoine, Evie O’Brien and Esia Forsyth added a further razzmatazz to the spirited rendition.

Members of the cast on stage at the Alma Tavern and Theatre | Milan Perera / Epigram 

The penultimate number featured Divvij Yajnik as the soloist in the sterling rendition of ‘Michael in The Bathroom’ from Be More Chill. ‘I am hanging in the bathroom at the biggest party of the fall’, sings Michael. This vivid and evocative number, would no doubt send you hurtling back to the digs.

The evening was brought to a fitting ending with the showstopper, ‘Stick To The Status Quo’ from High School Musical which featured the entire cast. Olivia Proctor and Felicity Wyatt’s direction was bursting with verve and vitality, while the choreography of Alice Fenton and Sophie Stenning added a burnished sheen to the production. Katie Simpson deftly dealt with the logistics for the event. Nieve Fay and Harry Clements conducted the proceedings for the evening with a nimble efficiency.

Speaking to Epigram, the outgoing President, Nieve Fay expressed her delight on the roaring success of the productions staged this year that set the benchmark higher than ever. MTB is set to return to stage for the curtain call of the year as they present the highly anticipated ‘48 hour’ production in the summer term.

Featured Image: Milan Perera / Epigram

Will you be heading to MTB's final performance this year?