Review: Graduation show is a triumph

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The Works Graduation Edition 2012, Blackpool Grand Theatre.

Anyone attending this latest edition of what has become Blackpool’s most unmissable show should cling onto their programmes for future reference.

Already former students from the Blackpool-based Phil Winston’s Theatreworks have racked up numerous West End, television, cruise, summer season and pantomime credits and it’s only a matter of time before any number from this year’s graduating line-up join them in having their names up in lights.

As ever The Works divides into two halves – the first a showcase for students reaching the end of their first year at the Church Street academy, the second a similar spotlight on the second and third years – now with an added “graduation tribute” finale.

In terms of material there’s everything plus the kitchen sink – one minute traditional tap, the next contemporary choreography, then there’s Kate Bush’s Unbelievable or Prodigy’s Firestarter, throw in Lady Gaga’s Telephone or a tribute to Whitney Houston and you are getting part way there.

There’s even a nod to the Olympics which presumably the licensing police would have stepped into stop if they’d heard about it, plus blues, jazz, duets and solos.

And it’s not just the show itself which has grown from its early days as one performance in a studio theatre to three in the Grand’s main auditorium – that collectable programme has had its own graduation to glossy big production which at least allows a new spotlight to be shone on the likes of Nick Jameson, Katy York, Steph Sutton, Lorraine McIntrye, Daniella Ockerby, Emma Whitby, Natalie Gray, Leah Knights, Maddy Stamp, Laura Atkins, Charlotte Read, Nicola McDonald, Faith Scott, Leah Flintoff, Rebecca Bainton-Ball, Joanna Chambers, Sarah Rigby, Rachael Piearcy, Stephanie Lund, Natasha Pennock, Molly Pearce, Laura Marriot, Jordan Wing, Amy Preston, Jessica Robinson, Rheanna Davidson, Alex Marsh, Megan Tranter, Kathryn Preston and Sam Cuncarr.

Congratulations to all who made it through the gruelling three years and here’s to everyone following in their footsteps. The closing song says It’s a Great Day but it’s time to change the lyrics to It’s a Great Show and All Involved Have a Great Future.