The Greatest Show – Review

Tonight the Pomegranate Theatre bore witness to the start of the 40th Anniversary Show from Diane Bradbury Theatre Dance School.

Taking the name of your show from one of the biggest new musicals in recent years could be seen as a bit of a gamble, unless there is the talent to back up the claim of being The Greatest Show, and there is plenty of talent on display.

From the opening moments as harlequins and clowns move under the instruction of the ring master to a medley from The Greatest Showman, the audience is in for a unique show.

While the senior students look every inch future West End stars, the first moment that got a big reaction from the audience was Paddington Bear from one of the youngest sets of dancers. Paddington himself manages to steal the limelight right at the end with a knowing nod to all the family members in the theatre.

The Bumblebee Medley (Chick Chick Chick Chick Chicken on Tuesday & Thursday) continued with the cute factor, before Abba’s Mamma Mia burst into life in a flurry of psychedelic colours that took everyone right back to the 1970s – and thus the tone of the evening was set in the first four numbers – old favourites married to new and exciting dances.

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow was an amazing contemporary ballet piece that was followed by some New York sass in the form of a medley from Annie. New takes on Pete’s Dragon, Bugsy Malone and Born to Boogie helped to showcase the wide range of dance styles at the school, based on Rose Hill in Chesterfield.

From the Charleston of We’re in the Money to some amazing gym work in Run Boy Run to the pointe ballet of the Clog Dance, all the students delivered the routines of choreographers, Julie Metcalfe, Paula Wilson, Sophie Rouse, Katie Knight and Roseanna Sanderson with aplomb.

Special mention to the boys that prove the spirit of Billy Elliot is alive and well – stealing the spotlight in both Pitch Perfect and Power with sheer attitude. An attitude that was mirrored by St Trinians and the Punk Rockers that rounded out Act 1.

Listening to the audience chatter in amazement as they moved out of the theatre at the end of the show, again punctuated by The Greatest Showman, it is hard to think that Diane and her teachers have been improving their show every year since 1978.

But just how do you top The Greatest Show? I imagine we will find out in 2019.

The Greatest Show runs until Thursday 24th May 2018 at the Pomegranate Theatre. Click here for tickets.

This review was originally posted here;

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