Press Report



"Take 2002"


July 30th 2002

The Tiverton Gazette

By Amanda Knott

'Double take as Willow Tree find
the "wow" factor.'

The atmosphere in the New Hall, Tiverton, was electric when The Willow Tree Dance Centre and Theatre Company had its end-of-year showcase.

.. And there was such excitement in the packed and bubbling auditorium as I took my seat.  I have been impressed before by the achievements of Irene Holland, her choreographers, teachers, and back-stage helpers in the modest facilities of the New Hall.  .But this performance, which gave hundreds of children and adults the opportunity to show their dancing, singing and dramatic skills, went way beyond mere classroom demonstration.

...In addition, two jokey comperes proved a successful innovation.   Richard Barfoot and Steve Gage, Tiverton's answer to Ant and Dec, entertained the audience between show numbers with a running gag about Richard's dinner suit - or lack of it.
...The theme of Take 2002, was film as the title suggests.

...Harry Potter music opened the programme with a dramatic dance number for young wizards, trainee witches with spell books, jewel fairies, and owls with adorable masks.
...They were followed by excellent tap dance routines inspired by 101 Dalmatians, The Jolson Story, Cabaret, and more.

...In a section, danced to music from Bridget Jones' Diary, a jazz duet was beautifully executed by Sarah Jepps and Lauren Thomas and a number for the boys, each with cell'phone, was slick and sophisticated.

...The singing section was performed with clarity and enthusiasm - no standing with blank faces in this show.  I particularly liked Candle on the Water in which Abigail Hackwood's real enjoyment caught my eye.

...The senior singers gave a terrific performance of A Whole New World from Aladdin, and Nothing from A Chorus Line.
...Soloist Leigh Lazarus sang Diamonds Are Forever and solo guitarist Rebekah Hayes sang Everything I Do - both performed with confidence and panache.  These are not easy songs which makes the students' achievements all the greater.

...There were so many excellent numbers I cannot refer to them all, but one that stood out for me was a modern dance solo with a Chinese flavour, beautifully danced by Lucy Hill.  The choreography was captivating.

...Another inventive piece of choreography recreated the 1960's hippy era for the adult jazz dancers - it was huge fun with authentic costumes down to the last bead.
...More amazing costumes were to be seen in a sensual jazz number to Calypso from High Society.

...I wrote a few notes during the performance, but with reference to the finale inspired by Moulin Rouge, I simply put down 'wow'.
...In a blaze of colour and frenetic action, can-can dancers in scarlet point shoes and satin corsets were whirled about by a host of good-looking young men.

...This exhilarating number, brilliantly choreographed by Victoria Lindley, brought an excellent evening to a close.
...All the hard work put in over many months proved entirely worthwhile in a vibrant show of which Tiverton must be justly proud.

...As a footnote, I would like to add how tremendous it was to see so many talented boys on stage. Jan Hicks, in particular, was a performer of note throughout the evening.