Spring Awakening

Gordonstoun's bears the hallmarks of a high school offering: mixed ability and tampering with the script to give kids fairer parts. Ensemble pieces generally did not stand up and many a vocal line was omitted. The more difficult ones were hit-and-miss, the top note in ‘Mama Who Bore Me (Reprise)’ was faintly audible. Harmonies were not always quite there. Male entrances were generally late and then vastly overpowered by louder (and more numerous), sometimes pitchy female vocals. The addition of female lines to male songs did not work and, on a technical level, Sater and Sheik probably wouldn't be happy. Robotic choreography is a given. Unresolved accents, recurrent mispronunciation, plus slightly incorrect lyrics gave the impression of a thematically trivial approach to directing.The above said, I am hypercritical and a huge fan of this musical. I still give it four stars. The positives are plentiful and more significant: the male lead, Melchior (Oscar Macdonald) is phenomenal. Utterly phenomenal. His compelling performance was touching, mature and sensitive. Not once did he even threaten to stray from the score, his voice floating up and down where required with sophistication and flair. The occasional overuse of vibrato detracted somewhat from the sincerity. The fourth star in my rating is for him; the way is certainly paved for this 'fledgling scientist' to crack open musical theatre, should he wish to. Inanna Pinheiro-Gibsone's Wendla is also an asset, intelligently presented, fantastically acted and vocally competent. Her death is felt sharply, so in her early exit she does her job well.Other cast members stand out for their individual strengths but simply are not 'triple threats'; Tom Williams, while frequently flat and poor in pitch, encapsulates everything in the character of Moritz, with a great nervous energy and genuine fear and confusion. Laura Barnes as Ilse and Josh Hall as Georg complete the foursome of capable singers, Barnes' solos sultry and Hall's savoury. Adult Male and Female (Ali Baxter and Millie Mountain) merit mention for their versatile and often hilarious range of characters.Directorially speaking, there's a clever opening and nice use of the neighbourhood girls. Reallocation of solos to the more able is appreciated. Ensemble numbers that work well are Touch Me and Song of Purple Summer, especially supported by solos from Barnes and Hall.The choreography is at least well-rehearsed and mostly in time. ‘Totally F*****’ reaches a deserved rebellious climax. The live band could have come right off the West End, such is their triumph in timing.Overall frustrating and frustratingly good - pervaded by the charm and enthusiasm of the cast, this has to be seen.

Reviews by Fen Greatley

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Electrifying fusion of rock music, morality and sexuality. Join Melchior and this talented teenage ensemble on a journey through coming-of-age anxiety in the celebration of youth and rebellion. 'Remarkable, tender, beautifully choreographed' **** (Scotsman on 'The Dream').

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets