Review: Twenty, Twenty Seven, Granville Theatre, Ramsgate Thursday, September 20
THERE are some entertainers who desperately need a Jim'll Fix It, Simon Cowell's X-rated road to stardom or even Lord Lloyd Webber to discover their talent. Heath Woodward is one such person.
You won't see him gracing many Thanet stages, nor his name producing many shows. But what he does do is incredible, and I would suggest, even Lord L or Elton would doff their star-spangled caps at him. For Heath is the brains behind two popular musicals: Twenty Twenty Seven and *Dinner With Angelika.
And he is not just the brains behind two gripping stories, but scriptwriter and composer and lyricist of all the musical numbers. In Twenty Twenty Seven, that's 23 arrangements alone. Many are memorable, such as You Can Travel Through Time and Superstars, which I am still humming now.
The plot, like Angelika, is an esoteric mystery thriller that grabs attention from Zachary Cooke's first line, "Today is going to be an interesting day," to the haunting final scene with his back to the audience as the curtains close.
Again like Angelika, it is a morality play set for today's culture and one that could well be studied as part of the school curriculum.
Zachary Cooke, hanging up his acrobat dancing shoes for this production, was perfect as the storyteller and adult Adam character. He can hold an audience just by his presence.
Stephen Porter too was superb as the slightly creepy Mackenzie who nevertheless conveyed pathos and passion within his role. Amber Goldney combined both emotional performance and a beautiful voice as the central love interest Eleanor. Other masterful performances came from Masie Waller as The Girl, George Spurrier as the young Adam, Sam Castle as Ajay, Helena Wrightson as Kirsten, Mary Pesket as Jane, Eleanor Martin as Audrey and Alex Ford who carried many roles.
Heath did enlist specialist help with the dancing numbers. Choreographer *Lauren Jones designed feisty routines that were far from just background numbers. Dancers, even the tiny ones, contributed most professionally.
Twenty Twenty Seven was produced with minimal, even sparse, props which just goes to illustrate the strength of the story and music.
In the hands of a West End impresario, this is a production that could hold its head up with the best of modern musicals. In the meantime, Heath, his amateur cast and the Granville theatre, did a darn fine job.
I look forward to the return of Angelika or Heath's next magnum opus with interest.
Eileen O'Brien - Isle of Thanet Gazette
* Corrections. The previous show was Drinking with Angelika and this show's Choreographer was Courtney Lauren Jones.