A Night At The Theatre

Last night at the Student Union’s Main Hall, the Creative Arts Societies of Royal Holloway held the opening night of their inter-societal event ‘A Night at the Theatre’.

‘A Night at the Theatre’ was a collaborative show for Royal Holloway’s Creative Arts societies and included performances from Absolute Harmony, Ballroom and Latin, Dance, Drama, Fashion, Gospel, Musical Theatre, Saavoy Opera, Shakespeare and Voices of Holloway.

The show began with a performance from MTS of ‘Nicest Kids in Town’ from the musical Hairspray. I believe the audience enjoyed the uplifting vibe of the song but the melodies would have worked better without a microphone, as each individual solo singer had a different approach to it. At times, it was difficult to hear the individual performer’s voices, unfortunately. This happened throughout the course of the majority of the singing acts. Having individual microphones, like some other singing acts had, would have helped.

Gospel Choir performed and the song choice of ‘Try Everything’ by Shakira and ‘Wade in the Water’, previously covered by Eva Cassidy, worked brilliantly with the audience. Both songs held a very meaningful and powerful message for our generation and the audience connected well with it.

The audience were very entertained by Dance society’s original take on Luis Fonsi’s Despacito. They used this song for a tap dance which was unexpected but well received by the audience. Chloe Norris’ dance technique was a point of focus during these performances. The gaze of the dancers was centered on the floor which made the impression of a lack of enthusiasm during some points of the performances. However this was swiftly overcome by their smiles at end of the of their number.

Drama Society performed a very intriguing and interesting preview from their show ‘The Crucible’. It definitely left the audience curious about the meaning behind it and wanting more. I personally would love the see the entirety of the play when it opens on 18 November.

Savoy Opera Society’s committee delivered a number that not only sounded good technically – good approach to the microphones and sound that went perfectly with the voices of the cast- but also engaged with the audience making them laugh. It was short, but sweet.

MTS delivered a stunning duo as a sneak peek for their Term One show ‘Cabaret’. Both of the actors worked very well on stage together – George Lambourne had a lovely voice, but the microphones were again more of a distraction than an aid. Jenny Collins had a gorgeous way of delivering and both of their body language was on point throughout the entire performance.

The ballet number was delivered in a humorous way, making fun of everything that can go wrong in a ballet performance. The unexpected way of delivering the performance made the audience feel more engaged with the show, as the dancers made fun of the little dance mistakes which made everybody feel more comfortable.

The Holloway Players, an improv group which is part of Drama Society, were one of the highlights of the evening. The voice of the narrator was very engaging and the actors were truly fun to watch.

The James Bond themed Ballroom and Latin show was well structured. At times the choreography was a bit uncoordinated but it wasn’t an issue, as it worked well with the setting and the performers as an artistic choice. Philippa Wilding had a very good stage presence and never let her gaze touch the ground.

Well done to both Abi Smith and Ellie Panton’s acts, as we value their courage in singing solo. It isn’t easy to go alone on stage and deliver a beautiful performance and they both did this gracefully and made the audience feel very emotional.

When all the groups and societies went back – all together – on stage, there was a wonderful, inspiring and fun atmosphere in the room. It was full of joy and happiness. It was a very entertaining evening. I hope that everybody involved enjoyed performing, and everybody watching valued the effort put in.

A Night at the Theatre is on tonight and tomorrow at the SU Main Hall. Doors open at 7:00 pm for a 7:30 pm start. Tickets can be purchased on the SU website or on the door.