Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s 1996 musical version of Mary Hayley Bell’s novel depends on a tenuous thread; a man, surprised by three children as he hides in a barn, answers ‘Jesus Christ’ to the question: ‘Who are you?’
It then requires a considerable suspension of disbelief to accept what follows; can a girl, old enough to be the object of two men’s sexual attentions, really be naive (or stupid) enough to believe she’s found the Messiah in her father’s barn? Add to this some of Lloyd-Webber’s more forgettable songs, and you could be heading for disaster. Think again.
Yes – the show itself is flawed, but CCADS’ performance at Ferneham Hall is excellent stuff.
John-Paul McCrohon, Rachel Potts and Kevin Redfern give exactly what you would expect from three experienced and talented performers. There’s nice work, too, from Alex Hillman and Tatenda Madamombe, but the show’s most vocally-assured performance comes from Coral Hutchesson as Candy.
But watch out for those youngsters. Opening night was graced by two very controlled and mature performances from George Smith and Laura Verrecchia – ably supported by the other youngsters in the cast. Performed on a striking set with great musicians, it’s definitely worth suspending that disbelief.