Movies to Musicals – SEC Armadillo, Glasgow

Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys

Celebrating a decade since inception, Movies to Musicals, under the sure-handed baton of Ross Gunning, take us on a celebratory, sentimental, energy-packed journey over the past ten years.

This ‘highlights’ show delves deep into the archives to deliver a diverse programme. There are blasts from the past from Funny Girl, West Side Story, Bugsy Malone and Mary Poppins and quite literally an audible blast in the case of the Stomp section. There are some works lauded but lesser known to those outside the musical theatre world: Something Rotten and Newsies and there are some sure-fire audience pleasers from Six, Wicked and Les Miserables (a triumph for the company at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe).

The Movies to Musicals ensemble are ably supported by a first rate band and the local Rock Choir. Gunning has also collected an impressive selection of special guests for this celebration: Paul Tabone ‘The Tenor From Oz’, Britain’s Got Talent finalist, classical singer Lucy Kay and a trio of West End royalty: John Owen Jones, Kerry Ellis and Scotland’s own Sabrina Carter. Stand out among them are Carter and Kay who blow everyone out of the water with their vocals.

The evening is interlinked with sound bites from the young cast and the show’s creatives who speak with evangelical enthusiasm about just how important the whole world of Movies to Musicals is to them. Most especially during the pandemic when they managed to write and record their i-Tunes Top Ten single You Can’t Stop The Music.

There’s much to applaud here, the evening not only showcases the vocal and dance talents of the young ensemble but their commitment to professional levels of perfection, their musicianship and musicality. Bright careers must surely be guaranteed for many of these young performers, both onstage and off. The choreography from the two young creative artists responsible is fresh, energetic and most of all strong and original.

One note of criticism would need to be the continuity between acts which faltered slightly and led to a feeling of disjointedness and some heart-breaking technical blips with microphones that didn’t throw the young performers but must surely have robbed them of their moment in the spotlight.

There’s an overwhelming feeling of joy and hope about the entire endeavour. With the promise of a reprise for Les Mis and next year’s event pencilled in the diary, he future is assured for this first-rate company.

Reviewed on 17 February 2024 | Image: Contributed

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The Reviews Hub - Scotland

The Scotland team is under the editorship of Lauren Humphreys. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.

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