Reviews

NODA

By Mary Titterton
Thursday 22nd September 2016

As the local paper said "Bespectacled geeks and beautiful girls make a strange combination in this musical - just like the fanciful notion in the early 1970's that computers would be able to communicate with each other.

This year Splinters revived a long standing habit of show casing new musicals - their back catalogue boasts no less than 7 Sheffield amateur premieres and Loserville perfectly fits the Splinters motto of "theatre productions for young people by young people".

Richard Granger gave an excellent performance as Michael Dork, never losing his characterisation as a computer geek. Lucy Keeton playing her first principal role for the group as Holly Manson - the girl who wants to be the first female astronaut - acted, sang and danced her way through all the numbers with ease. There were some good performances from Michael's sci-fi mates - Connie Campbell as Frances Weir, Matthew Bevan as Lucas Lloyd and Digory Holmes as Marvin Camden. Joe Walker as Eddie Arch, who turns out to be the villain of the piece, gave his usual first class performance and together with his mates - Huey Philips (Daniel Romano), Wayne Pagoda (Josh Holliday),  Leia  Dawkins (Antonia Gallagher), Elaine Friend (Amy Roe Parkin) and Samantha Powden (Hannah Bloomer) completed the line-up of principals who all kept their "over-the-top" American accents, and the remainder of the cast together with the ensemble giving the whole production the energy and zest we have come to expect of the group.

Congratulations to Adam on his vibrant and well thought-out production, to Nick and his musicians and to Aggie and Mark for coming up with the choreography that suited all the cast. I thought the set was excellent - the "quirkiness" worked very well (a shame that the programme didn't quote who designed it) - I can imagine that the technical rehearsal was somewhat difficult! Out-of-this-world scenes included a visit to Loserville Planetarium in which film footage gives an impression of hurtling through space while dancers holding colour-changing orbs whirl around the darkened stage. Panels either side of the stage lit up to display the connection of the computers which were housed in neon-coloured desks.   Hard work from Janet D'Rosa and Jill Beckett (Costumes and Props) respectively definitely gave the 1970's feeling.

Keep up the good work. I feel very proud to have been one of the five founding members in 1988 and still associated with the group. Looking forward to Rock of Ages and Grease in 2017.

The Derbyshire Times

Splinters Theatres Company onto a Winner in Loserville
By Gay Bolton
Thursday 22nd September 2016

Bespectacled geeks and beautiful girls make a strange combination in the musical Loserville - just like the fanciful notion half a century ago that computers would be able to communicate with each other.

The show traces the invention of the internet married to a timeless tale of love in its many different guises, from a passion for work to attractions to soulmates to obsessive sci-fans.

It’s brought to Sheffield’s Montgomery Theatre this week by Splinters Theatre Company in a colourful, energetic production in which imagination runs riot.

Out-of-this-world scenes include a visit to Loserville Planetarium in which film footage gives an impression of hurtling through space while dancers holding colour-changing orbs whirl around the darkened stage.

Act two opens with a sci-fi convention where images of Star Trek flash up on the screen and the cast are dressed as favourite characters from Thunderbirds and Doctor Who with Batman and Superman among the motley crew.

Panels either side of the stage light up to display the connectivity of computers which are housed in neon-coloured desks, absorbing the audience in a subject which could otherwise be rather dull for the non-geeks.

Central to all this is the blossoming love affair between nerdy Michael Dork and space-obsessed Holly Manson.

 

Richard Granger gives a powerhouse performance as misfit Michael, his hunched shoulders adding to the awkward body language of someone who is socially inept.

 

Lucy Keeton plays Holly, a beauty with brains, who tones down her look to pursue her quest of being the first female astronaut. Lucy’s opening song was marred by mic problems at the launch show last night (Wednesday) but the technical issue didn’t knock her off her stride. 

Great support comes from Matthew Bevan, Connie Campbell and Digory Holmes who play Michael’s sci-fi obsessed mates and resemble Scooby Do’s human gang. 

Joseph Oliver Walker plays the arch villain, self-obsessed Eddie whose desperation to win his techno tycoon dad’s approval drives him to blackmail Holly with saucy pictures from her past. 

 

Jointly penned by Elliott Davis and James Bourne, the script is accompanied by pumping pop songs which is only to be expected in a show co-written by a member of boy band Busted. 

This production is directed by Adam Luke Walker with musical direction by Nick Plummer-Walsh and choreography by Aggie Gryszel and Mark Harris. So get your geek on and get off to Loserville for a winning show which is running until Saturday, September 24.

In Rehearsals