DAISY PULLS IT OFF | London, Charing Cross Theatre

The renowned Guildford School of Acting (GSA) launched an actor-musician course three years ago, and here are its first graduates, performing a new, actor-musician version of the 1983 Olivier-winning spoof comedy, which ran for three years in the West End. It’s ripping good fun as ever, and the new music is absolutely topping. Jubilate!

All-round achiever Daisy Meredith (Marina Papadopolous) is able to attend Grangewood School thanks to a scholarship, to the horror of its beastly, upper-class, fee-paying students. But, with the help of her best chum Trixie Martin (Katy Ellis), can she solve the mystery of the Grangewood treasure?

The young cast suits the school setting, all very believable as 1920s English schoolgirls. However in the first half at least, all the schoolgirl characters are played as obvious caricatures, with the same bright sing-song intonation, making it hard to distinguish between them or find any real stakes in the story. The schoolteachers are also all the same age (of course), which again makes it difficult to establish any contrast between characters.

The new score (Niall Bailey) is the standout, mixing together traditional English songs with new writing. The cast sing beautifully, and the choral sections are particular musical highlights. The hit comedy works brilliantly reimagined as a semi-musical, and the family-friendly story is perfect for children.

Daisy will continue to pull it off until 30 June 2018.

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