The Jammy Dodgers Go Underground

The Jammy Dodgers Go Underground follows three brothers as they attempt to earn money through busking, but instead end up in a workhouse. Containing traces of other stories such as Oliver! and The Pied Piper, this musical allows the very young performers of the company to showcase their talents.

There is some character development but there is not much for the actors to work with as the play seems to take place over a very short time frame.

Live music is played on the stage throughout the performance and the actors double as musicians at various points throughout the play. The talent in the company is obvious and all members of the cast work hard to portray their own roles. There are a number of very good performances, especially from the younger members of the cast. Inez Parsell presents a comical and very likable youngest sibling, just as Kieran Bird and Tabitha Tingey give good representations of workhouse owners, both possessing strong voices. The stand-out performer however is Kristian Peters. Throughout the show he keeps an excellent character and accent, all complemented by a beautiful voice.

The performance space the group occupies is quite small for the number of performers but they use it well, moving amongst and interacting with the audience. The songs in the show are catchy and the audience are at times encouraged to join in. It would seem however that there were avid fans of the show in amongst us and they would often join in with the group if the song seemed like it needed a little extra life. This is undoubtedly a young company and they may have been grateful for the support they received, however as an audience member I felt it did the performers an injustice when I was no longer able to hear their voices and only those of the adults surrounding me.

The script for the play is a little sparse in places and due to its length is not able to achieve any real depth. There is some character development but there is not much for the actors to work with as the play seems to take place over a very short time frame. Nevertheless the company do well with what they have to work with. The show currently runs at 45 minutes and the end feels rather rapid in its approach so I think there is definitely room to add more to the musical to allow the actors a little more character to delve into. Overall though the young cast deliver this short piece with suitable charm.

Reviews by Lyndsey Bakewell

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The Blurb

Street urchins Jem, Ned and Billy Perkinski lose their way in London. The boys wind up locked away in a workhouse run by the tyrannical Mr George Blood, his cruel wife Mrs Blood and their slimy son Zeke. But not even the merciless Bloods can dampen the Perkinski spirit... There's only one way to escape, but will the boys' stinky-sewers scheme work? This Jammy Dodgers story ventures deep down into the dangerous labyrinths of Victorian London.