Dimples galore at Palmerstone Showstoppers

WHAT is the collective noun for a set of dimples? A puckering? If so, there was more than a puckering of cute young dimples on show last week when Palmerstone Stage School held its annual Showstoppers at Kenneth More Theatre. A riot of colour and energy,

WHAT is the collective noun for a set of dimples? A puckering?

If so, there was more than a puckering of cute young dimples on show last week when Palmerstone Stage School held its annual Showstoppers at Kenneth More Theatre.

A riot of colour and energy, this was the usual showcase for some wonderful youthful (and not so youthful) song and dance.

Devised by the school's principals, Loraine Porter and Vicki Palmer, this show is a testament to talent and hard work and shows what aspiration - and plenty of perspiration - can produce. Just sewing the range of eye-catching costumes must be a major task, not to mention the chaperoning and costume and make-up changes.


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As usual, it all went pretty flawlessly, overseen by genial compere Zoe Palmer, whose witty sketches with Steven Day provided cover for those costume changes.

There was tap from the junior and intermediate tap classes, who performed confidently to Nice Work If You Can Get It and the semi seniors followed with Devil Went Down to Georgia. It was also good to see Miss Loraine and Miss Vicky in a lively tapping sequence that showed why their students are so good.

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The combined ballet classes demonstrated how a range of ages can perform seamlessly together and a range of students performed jazz and acro with the confidence you would expect from much older performers.

The juniors - and some of these tots are tiny - danced and acted beautifully to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the seniors and students interpreted the works of Kylie Minogue in a sexy dance befitting the pop princess.

The Little Mermaid has long been a favourite and this year the juniors and inters performed to a range of numbers, including Under the Sea, and I Want More. There were some terrific voices in this line-up and the array of little people dressed as jellyfish and sea snails was unforgettable.

The inters and seniors reprised the dazzling, fast-paced award-winning Joyful sequence that has won them a trip to Disneyland and the combined lyrical classes produced some of the most ethereal and sinuous dance I have seen.

Vikki Lyons, whose clear soprano has graced the KMT on many occasions, delivered Lloyd-Webber's haunting Pie Jesu with grace and emotion. And Steve Day and Phil Rowlands combined their vocal talents to lead the cast in a pulsating tribute to Queen.

It has become traditional for the adults to appear near the end of the show, and this year they chose a medley from the musical Spamalot, delivered with a wicked twinkle and some surprisingly high kicks. As is customary, Dick Porter made an appearance, as King Arthur, in an English flag and towering crown. He loves this moment in the spotlight and his endearing antics add a great deal of humour to the show.

The show ended with the songs of Barry Manilow, which suited Steve Day's voice and playing style, but did not work so well with Palmerstone's young, mostly female voices - the material seems a bit old for them. But they sang confidently and the audience left the theatre on a high.

- SUE LEEMAN

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