Monday, 4 July 2011

Dollar Will Rock You, Macrobert Arts Centre, 23rd June 2011

Aptly performed at Macrobert, where Queen themselves played in the 1970s, Dollar Will Rock You (presented by permission of schools will rock you) was a fantastic tribute to an iconic band and brilliant Ben Elton musical.

I will admit that I am bias due to the extremely talented Fraser Jackson putting together the band, however, having a band made up of school pupils, I was expecting much less than the polished Queen classics I had heard twice from the professional tour. Bias aside, the music was ELECTRIC! I beamed with pride from the audience, Brian May would have been over the moon with the quality of sound from the Dollar Academy pit (he did, in fact, send them good luck wishes before their run).

As with many school and am-dram productions, the choreography did lack the accuracy and impact needed to deliver the themes of this musical, however, the show was led by outstanding singers and enthusiastic chorus work.

Both lead female dancers were sharp with great timing and energy, adding in characterisation and expression in their movements. Such talent is usually only seen in musical theatre students and I wish every success to the dancer going onto pursue musical theatre as a career. A well-deserved place as a performing arts student awaits her come September.

Highlights for me included the mind-blowing visual effects, on a par with the professional show these were technically and artistically perfect. I felt that I would be very critical of technicalities such as the graphics and communication videos but they stood up to my high expectations, an outstanding piece of work by Sally Herbert. The pupils playing Killer Queen and Scaramouche stood out from the rest with their characterisation and vocal abilities. Both girls were a treat to watch, Killer Queen out-doing the role I saw on tour this January.

Congratulations to the pupils of Dollar Academy, you exceeded my expectations and put on a fabulously energetic, polished and technically exhilirating production.

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