Young actors rise to tough challenge

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
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Bad Girls The Musical

By Act II

South Holland Centre, Spalding

Murder, rape, corruption, violence and lesbian affairs – probably not the kind of thing you’d expect from a youth production – but you won’t hear this scribe complaining.

The advanced skills group of the Spalding theatre company took on an ambitious task in performing this musical, based on the 90s TV drama, but they pulled it off with such ease that at times I totally forgot the tender years of the cast.

Directed and produced by Charlotte and Karl Gernert respectively, the show centres on wicked prison officer Jim Fenner’s bid to become wing governor at any means, while the shocking nuts and bolts of prison life go on around the main plot.

In fact you can add drug addiction and prostitution to the list of subjects tackled last Thursday evening on the South Holland Centre stage... but you mustn’t forget great songs, sharp humour and some wonderful double entendres.

None of the young cast seemed at all embarrassed at their roles or lines as they acted with great maturity and good comic timing, extracting many a belly-laugh from the audience.

Duncan Riches stole the show for me as he made the role of the evil Fenner his own, and also proved he can sing a bit along the way. Dominique Spinks played the sexy but vulnerable, tough yet caring Shell Dockley with wonderful conviction and really owned the stage during her solo moments.

Georgia Cantwell shone as the sassy gangster’s moll Yvonne Atkins, Alice Haley rose to the tough task of playing the misunderstood lesbian murderess Nikki Wade, Rebe Hawes was convincing as the tragic Rachel Hicks and Molly Riches was just wonderful as the tart with a heart Julie Saunders.

But then all the cast gelled superbly and all had their stand-out moment, aided and abetted by a very good orchestra.

I really love watching these local productions at the South Holland Centre – especially the younger actors – but I have noticed much of the crowd is made up of fellow thespians, supporters and family. If you fancy an evening of great entertainment at a reasonable price, try to get along to one of the forthcoming productions – I’ve been to five in the last few months and I have not been disappointed once.

Jeremy Ransome