Jun 28 2011 By Siba Matti
Showcase Musical Theatre
From West End to Broadway, a celebration of musicals past and present, comes to the Compass Theatre next week courtesy of amateur dramatics company, Showcase. SIBA MATTI spoke to actress and Miss England finalist, Jenna Horgan, to find out more about the show.
TEENAGERS and pensioners will stand shoulder to shoulder as they perform popular musical numbers at the Compass Theatre next week.
Members of amateur dramatics company, Showcase, aged from 14 to 82, will belt out songs from stage spectaculars including A Chorus Line, Les Miserables, Guys and Dolls, 42nd Street, Mamma Mia, Chicago, Hairspray and Wicked.
The hit tunes will be woven into From West End to Broadway, a high-energy show about a young girl called Sawyer, who wants to join a chorus in a Broadway musical.
She eventually finds herself at a struggling company full of has-beens and wannabes, led by a somewhat sleazy producer, who is trying to put together a show – but will they ever make it to opening night?
Club member Jenna Horgan, who is also a finalist in this year's Miss England contest, says of the show: "It is an all singing, all dancing celebration of musical numbers from yesterday and today, taking audiences on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
"People can expect to be in fits of giggles or even shed a tear at times.
"The story has been written by our director specifically to make the most of all our members' talents.
"Alex George, who plays Sawyer, has an absolutely fantastic voice. Her performance of Defying Gravity, from Wicked, is breathtaking – if that doesn't get a standing ovation, I don't know what will.
"Abi Hardestey, who sings songs from Hairspray, is also an excellent singer."
Jenna, who originally hails from Plymouth and now lives in Twickenham, will belt out Nothing from A Chorus Line.
The 24-year-old will also join fellow members for songs from Chicago.
Her rendition of All That Jazz earned her the title of Miss Champeneys and a place in the Miss England finals on July 18 and 19.
"Entrants have to demonstrate a talent and mine was a 90-second performance of All That Jazz, dressed as Velma Kelly with rouge lips and slicked back hair," Jenna explains.
"Staff and visitors at Champeneys Spa voted for me, which I am thrilled about.
"I reached the semi finals last year so it is fantastic to have got to the finals, where I will perform an extended two-minute version of the the same song.
"It will be filmed at the Compass before the official show begins next Thursday (July 7)."
Formerly known as Southall Operatic Company (SOC), Showcase formed two years after the Second World War.
Members will soon begin working on their next production, Christmas pantomime, Snow White.
Jenna, who juggles rehearsals with her full time job as a market insights analyst for frozen food firm, Birds Eye, added: "I have made some fantastic friends since joining Showcase about nine months ago, and the Miss England competition offers endless awards, so it is worth having a hectic schedule.
"Fellow cast members couldn't have been more supportive and the theatre group has really been the key to my success. I hope it will help me win the title."
Showcase rehearses every Friday evening at Southall Conservative Club, Fairlawn Hall, Uxbridge Road, Southall.
New members are most welcome. For further information, see www.showcasemusicaltheatre.org.uk
From West End to Broadway comes to the Compass Theatre from Thursday, July 7 – Saturday, July 9 and tickets cost £12.50. For further information, visit www.compasstheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01895 673200.