A new touring show of popular musical theatre hits has arrived on the scene with an impressive and crowd-pleasing programme and their Waterford debut, at the Theatre Royal, was welcomed by a capacity audience. Mad About Productions is the brain-child of ace performer Michael Courtney and he is joined onstage by three girl/vocalists and a younger cheeky chappie performer, with backing tracks and a fine light show of scrollers and rollers plus a wizard sound technician, Colin Leppington.
Mad About The Musicals gave great value for money but at times, in the first half, Courtney talked a bit too much and some songs were a little obscure or dated. Professional at all times, the performers lacked a bit of charisma. I did like the attempts at humour, but it was a slow start, with a capella No Business Like Show Business moving into Windy City and I Could Be Happy. I liked Courtney and Mike Carnell on Me And My Shadow. Oh What A Circus segued into Don’t Cry For Me Argentina with Lauren Wood in fine voice. She also shone in the Sunset Boulevard hit As If We Never Said Goodbye.
A young vivacious Louise Rosemary Geater joined Courtney for Half A Sixpence and Kyia Grandi hit the spot with Maybe This Time, from a Chicago set, as We Will Rock You cleverly segued into Mamma Mia and a clappy medley from Saturday Night Fever to end the half on a high note.
After the interval, the show just moved up several gears and it was excellent. The three girls sashayed on in red siren dresses and a Blues Brothers routine just rocked. Gimme Some Lovin’ and So Glad You made It, were great and an over-extended comedy routine was rescued by a stunning Under The Boardwalk. A Chicago sequence moved into Funny Girl and Louise hit the heights with Show Me from My Fair Lady.
A Phantom sequence was excellent and a duet In His Eyes from Jeckyll And Hyde, showed the quality of Lauren and Kyia. Michael Courtney impressed with Getsemane and Mike Carnell was smooth in Singin’ In The Rain.
The Les Miserables closer was on the money and left the audience exhausted at 10.50 and clearly wanting more.