REVIEW: Their Scarves Were Red at The Cort Theatre, Henry Cort Community College, Fareham

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Their Scarves Were Red is a musical based on the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, when 96 people lost their lives in a human crush during the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

It’s hugely challenging subject matter for anyone to tackle, let alone the youngsters of Fareham Musical Society Youth Theatre. But, my goodness, that they did.

Finley Rowsell impressed as football fanatic Dan. He and Joseph Townsend-Bilton, as Barry, worked particularly well together as a duo. There was emotional performances from Freya O’Grady, Kirsty Wareham-Collins and Mia Marino, all hugely impressive in their roles.

I was completely blown away by Isabelle Parsons. Just 14 years old, this teenager gave a performance better than some professional adults I’ve seen. Her voice alone was wonderful but coupled with the level of maturity in her acting, I’m sure we’ll see her for many years to come. I Believed In You was simply sensational.

At times, I forgot I was watching children.

Several audience members shed a tear. Even my bottom lip quivered as, during the curtain call, this wonderful bunch of performers turned and bowed to the image of the 96 victims projected on the screen. A wonderful touch and fitting tribute, fully deserving of their standing ovation.

Until Saturday.