An Independent review of 'A Time to Dance'
'This year's showcase for Happy Feet Song and Dance Company, A Time to Dance, was an action-packed,dazzling display, which crammed 37 songs and routines into its two-and-a-half hours (including interval).
More than 130 young dancers and singers, from tiny tots to mature and assured teenagers, came and went with West-End precision, using the large stage to its maximum and entertaining a rightfully enthusiastic crowded auditorium. The months of classes and rehearsals led by Anne Garrett, who also devised the choreography, paid off generously in the well-drilled but always natural performances.
The range of material was terrific, from classical and contemporary dance to knockabout comedy, romantic duets and solo turns, from pop-rock and jazzy workouts to exhilarating tap sequences and songs from stage and screen musicals.
Technically the show scored very highly, with lighting, back-projection, sound quality, music selection, costumes and make-up of professional quality supporting the young cast. Singling out individuals in such circumstances is always invidious,but young Michael Harpham's fearless 'Honey Bun' from South Pacific, Sarah Jones's two numbers (one partnered by Mark Skellett) and Sam Wilcock and Alice Hand in the barnstorming 'Hey Baby' were all particularly impressive. It's hardly surprising that every year, senior Happy Feet members go on to stage and drama schools and professional involvement in the musical theatre, but even more heart-warming is the joy(dare we say glee?) that the whole company display.
A priceless local asset, and well served by the staff of the Hawth, an exemplary theatre run to international standards'.