Review by Stéphane Potvin
Recently, the George R. Allan school students and staff presented a production of Porridge, a humorous musical play counting in its midst, characters like the Three Bears, Goldie Lox (Goldilocks), Mother Hubbard, Jack Spratt, Simple Simon, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Peter Piper, and many more.
The play is described as follows: When a crime wave hits Happy Valley, there’s a caseload of mysteries to be solved! Who’s stolen Ma Hubbard’s recipe book? Who’s kidnapped Marigold the cow? And what dirty secret is Papa Bear hiding behind his Porridge empire?
It’s down to Private Detective Jack Spratt to uncover the terrifying truth in this tale of mystery, mayhem and breakfast cereal! [http://www.musiclinedirect.com/craig-hawes/porridge-junior-production.html]
I was expecting an average production, but what I witnessed was a really well prepared cast, a very efficient stage crew, and a smoothly flowing show.The sets and costumes, created by parents, could have been done by professionals. The stage crew was extremely efficient at moving quickly and they seamlessly transitioned between scenes. (My son was one of the crew members.)
The actors did so well that even with the distraction of a baby crying, or a false musical cue, the children kept their composure and continued with their lines without hesitation. When one of the actors missed a line, another discreetly came over to whisper his text to get him back on track. No punch lines were missed. All in all, this was a well-prepared and well-rehearsed show.
Mrs Rudzroga and her assistant
Even though the music was pre-recorded, the children were perfectly in sync with the accompaniment—no small task, especially for young singers.
As good as the presentation was, there were a couple of minor things that would have made it even better. I would have liked for the actors to speak more slowly and enunciate more clearly. Occasionally I had a hard time understanding the text. Other times, I felt like the musical accompaniment was a bit too loud for the voices.
Credit must go to the school’s music teacher Mrs Rudzroga, to her assistant, and to all the teachers and parents involved who pulled this together during lunch hours and after school, giving their personal time to afford the children the opportunity to experience something they will remember all their lives.