REVIEW: Crazy for You at the Kings Theatre, Southsea

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Pupils from Portsmouth Grammar School (PGS) reprieved the Gershwin musical Crazy For You at the Kings Theatre.

Music and drama are recognised strengths of the school thanks in part to the talented Sam Gladstone, who held the baton for the last time in this production.

His orchestra was tightly controlled, they gave energy and lots of welly – a fitting swansong for the popular teacher and conductor.

Vocals were tuneful and in tune. Dancing was good, by a tight-knit group of follies led by Floss Wilcox.

Bradley Jackson portrayed an endearing and suitably clueless Bobby, who at one point sings the question ‘Can’t you see I’m dancing?’ Well, no – we couldn’t. We fell for him in the same way we adore Ed Balls on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, but for a role that comprises singing as well as dancing.

Emma Watkins delivered a supportive and nuanced Polly. The Hungarian Divo ‘Zengler’ was beautifully crafted by Ben Cranny Whitehead, with quirky and funny moments tailored with energy and panache.

It was nice to see headmaster James Priory getting into the spirit and joining the cast in their endeavours.

This presentation missed being the breathtaking production of some of the school’s previous offerings under the direction of JP McCrohon – those were big shoes to fill – this direction felt a little insecure and tame, but the cast did it proud.

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