Aida the Musical

A melting pot of youthful talent all wrestle for attention in this production, which features heavy emphasis on individual players with some standout solo performances. Tanya Bridgeman’s Aida, a princess disguised as a captured slave worker who wins the heart of the Captain Radames is played with stunning maturity.

Emma Anderson plays a Pharaoh’s daughter and captured the emotion felt when losing one’s grip on a loved one well, as the Captain loses interest in his first love. As the Captain and Aida get closer, the Pharaoh’s daughter questions the validity of her relationship and her solo performances are convincing and heart-rending.

As well as having a grasp of the morality which constructs the play, the vocal quality was brilliant, especially from Bridgeman and Anderson, both of whom could go far in musical theatre. The production’s youth is sensed - not least because of the warning I was given on collection of my press pass. The director, I was told, wanted me to pay particular attention to the age of the youth involved. This warning seemed an unnecessary distraction; the show was staged well, making use of the cast’s abilities, regardless of their age.

Simple props and set pieces further impacted upon a heightening of performance; scraps of material strewn on the floor became hand cuffs and other than the odd rope and carry on prop, the stage was largely free for artistic interpretation and a concentration on character.

Spotlite’s production has all the gusto of youth wrapped in amongst some convincing characterisation. Perhaps the production could have been slightly more robust in sound. Stronger group-led choreography with larger use of smaller parts would have elevated the production’s musical feel; but it’s still an impressive effort.

Reviews by Adam Bloodworth

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The Blurb

Elton John and Tim Rice's rock musical: a love story; three people are forced to make difficult choices that will alter history forever. Live band. 'Simply amazing' ***** (BroadwayBaby.com). 'Stark, haunting' ***** (EdinburghGuide.com), on Tommy. www.spotlites.co.uk.

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