This sterling cast of four 2020 graduates – Amelia Atherton as Lisa, Callum Henderson as Luke, Bessy Ewa as Waverley and finally Nathan Shaw as Darren – play twenty-somethings living in New York and at the start of their professional lives with everything to prove and everything to gain.
They bounce off each other with an energy that is palpable. With book by Ryan Cunningham and music and lyrics by Joshua Salzman, the very strong ensemble opening number immediately captivated and prepared the audience for a fast-paced, toe-tapping, finger-clicking musical.
This is text book American musical construction with rousing ballads and high emotionally led dramatic lyrics that serve a purpose – and that purpose is to tell their character’s stories.
To realise aspirations, to fulfil dreams, to become successful and although clichéd, to live the American Dream, even if in the current climate this has become slightly unpredictable and even tainted.
These four actors are very capable and under Robert McWhir’s very tight direction linked their performances with ease. This piece really comes into its own as Act 2 plays out, especially Nathan Shaw, whose vocal instrument is clearly finely tuned and should pave the way for him to achieve theatrical excellence.
Nothing is for certain in the world of show business but ‘Next Thing You Know’ these four young actors, if given the right breaks – which includes performing work such as this – should go far. This show is beautifully played out and with a rousing rendition of the show’s title number is delightfully wrapped up.
Photos by NatLPho