Off The Page … Onto The Stage

Poole & Parkstone Productions [P&P Productions]    Barrington Centre, Ferndown Chelsea Sherry

 18 November  2023

It’s fair to say that literature has inspired everyone at least once, from all walks of life and at all ages. It’s, therefore, unsurprising that so many fantastic and well-known musicals came from the pages of our favourite reads, spanning many decades. Off The Page And Onto The Stage was a show 10 years in the making by Kellie Oxborrow, the Director. She should be truly delighted at the quality of what was shown on stage this evening, it really is an excellent show.

It’s increasingly common to see theatre companies use backing tracks in concerts, which works perfectly well and doesn’t necessarily notice. It is, however, really pleasant to attend a concert and for the singers to be backed by a live band. It really helps to accentuate the sound of the singing, and contributes brilliantly to the lovely medleys that P&P have become increasingly well-known for. Led by Chris McDouall, the band were great.

I think the common term is don’t work with children or animals and, whilst they listened to the animal’s part, there were a lot of children in this show, and what a gloriously talented bunch they were too! Some lovely singing was seen in both the Oliver! and the Matilda sections, with my personal favourite being the Matilda section. The whole section was high energy and you could see that they were all having a fabulous time on the stage. A shout out to Leanne Holland who choreographed the children, that cannot have been easy!

Speaking of choreography, there was some really good dancing seen in various sections. It was well put together, and infinitely watchable. My only slight gripe was that, on occasion, there really were too many people on stage for the audience to have the opportunity to see everyone equally.

It was actually quite difficult to pick out some stand out performances as I thought that everyone was very good. Alex Beck was definitely a stand out with a rather spellbinding version of ‘Music of the Night’ from Phantom. He stood out once again when singing ‘Money’ from Cabaret with Leonie Beck. The song was perfectly weird and I loved it.

Leonie Beck was a stand out in every song she sung actually, with perfect vocals and skilled performances. Abby Benko-Robbins was also very entertaining with ‘The Mad Hatter’ from From Wonderland.

Chloe Payne brought us a new twist to ‘Pulled’ from The Addams Family, which was fun to watch and passionately sung. Leonie Beck, Clare Albanozzo and Katherine Steele also thrilled the audience with ‘I Wish I May’ from The Witches of Eastwick.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the jewel in tonight’s crown was the Bat Out Of Hell medley. It was colourful, with great costumes, full of energy and had some brilliant songs. It was a perfect finale.

Thanks for a lovely evening to everyone involved in the show. You should be extremely proud of yourselves.