‘Stand Tall’ is billed as ‘A Rock Musical’. Well, there’s plenty of ‘Rock’ and it’s VERY, VERY LOUD.
Is it a musical? Not one that’s ever likely to be bothering a West-End management, I fear. It’s just possible that with a bit more work it could cut the mustard as a schools’ musical, in that the central theme of bullying – it’s a reworking of David and Goliath - is spot on for that sort of environment, and the rock based score would certainly go down well with a younger, and possibly less jaded, audience
However, what it really lacks is a good book, and decent lyrics, which is a shame, because there are flashes of possibility where both book and lyrics really come together and work. Especially the title song, and Act Two’s ‘Stronger Than This’ both of which are cracking numbers. On the whole, however, the songs limp along without either furthering the plot, or giving any light relief to the relentlessly turgid book. Oh, and the show is VERY, VERY LOUD.
The fact that we even returned for the second half – and glad we did, as that’s where the best material is – was due entirely to the cast who were giving it their all, especially the marvellous Jack Shalloo as Goliath, and the wonderful Keisha Amponsa Banson as ‘Blacksheep’, quite literally, the lamb of God.
I am mystified why MD Dean Austin allowed the show to be do drowned out by a noise level so high – and in such a small venue – that my ears are still ringing even now as I sit typing this an hour and a half after the show ended. I suspect that the noise level might have something to do with the size of the audience – less than a third capacity in a very small venue on a Saturday night. It would have done much more justice to the piece for it to have been more cheaply produced, and to have spent the money on publicity. I can honestly say I didn’t know it was happening until two days ago.
We are told in the programme that the show had a cast of 20 originally. I’d suggest it might be worth reinstating them, and beefing it up a bit, with a chorus of sheep, Kings Wives, or anything basically to provide a bit more colour.
If the producers have any sense, they will send out complimentary tickets to any and every school they can find in a 50 mile radius, with the hope of getting some interest in the project after it completes it’s run. Otherwise, I fear, it might just have got as far as it’s going to get. Oh, and did I mention it’s VERY, VERY LOUD.
- Richard Voyce
22 Oct 11
We went to see the show last night, it was amazing the cast was fantastic and the songs gave me goosebumps.
I can really see this on a big stage its a must see show for everyone - chloe
19 Oct 11
A really memorable day out, the musical performance from the band and cast was great with everything from heavy riffing to rap! Some great laughs mixed in with some very touching moments really engaged us with the characters and story. Can't recommend this enough...brilliant!
19 Oct 11
Is it really realistic to get 6 5* reviews such as these? When will small productions realise that it is SO obvious these are all fake.............. - Faka Reevu
19 Oct 11
Really enjoyed this show - good script, catchy songs and good casting! Loved the comic moments, and the actors were clearly enjoying themselves. Special mentions go to Jack Shaloo and especially Keisha Amponsa-Banson, who seems to glow as the Black Sheep. Our ten-year-old and friends thought it was great too - we'd all love to see it again! - Linda
18 Oct 11
Thoroughly enjoyed Stand Tall. The cast were great especially Jack Shalloo as Goliath who really put his all into the part and was fantastic. He made us all laugh & we came home singing "Don't mess with me....." Well worth going to see this musical which has a great storyline & great songs in a great little theatre! Would love to see it again! - Georgie
18 Oct 11
Stand Tall was great. Each cast member was good in their role, handling the songs well and inhabiting the character fully. The Black Sheep and Goliath were the stand out performances for me, although I did find myself laughing out loud to the antics of the King.
This show is well worth a look. - Chris
18 Oct 11
Went to see the show after seeing a feature on it on Channel 4 news. It was a real treat - rousing songs, great cast and fabulous venue. Well worth seeing - take the family as there is something in it for everyone. - Sarah
18 Oct 11
Truly amazing! I was not sure what to expect from this new show but to say it was stunning would be an understatement! The script was great and also funny which I was not expecting. My wife was in tears and my kids were totally into for every moment. We spent the journey home to Ipswich with the excellent songs in our heads. We will be booking again in the half term for sure. I could not recommend this show more highly. - Gavin
17 Oct 11
I saw Stand Tall at The Landor and was completely blown away. The cast were fantastic - the music amazing with the bullying aspect coming across sensitively. I was amazed how everyone (all ages) really seemed to repsond. Belly laughs from Dad's and laughter from younger audience members while all feet tapped their way through the goose bump inducing songs! I am going back again... - Leah
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