Champion Review for All Shook Up - A CAST of 30 talented youngsters from ages 10 to 18 plus a 12 piece band under the direction of Charles Moss made this S.0.N.G. production a big family show.
Matthew Higginson showed himself to be a self-assured and accomplished stage performer in the star role of Chad, leader of a teenage rebellion against the local adults who want to outlaw loud music and ‘public necking’.
Eden Birch excelled as Natalie who fancies Chad but, when she hears that he prefers tomboys, she puts on a beard and pretends to be a boy (‘Ed’) which creates a problem for Chad, this being 60 years before transgenderism became a viable option for the over fives.
However, it is really the glamorous Miss Sandra (Natasha Major) that Chad lusts after but so also, does Natalie’s widowed father, Jim (Gabriel Cardiara) who in turn is pursued by bar owner, Sylvia. It is 'Ed' who Sandra fancies, believing, of course, he is a boy.
Ben Ackers played Dennis, a bespectacled goof who also fancies Natalie. Ben has the town’s best singing voice as witnessed on 'It Hurts Me'.
Ashleigh Hetherington plays the Mayor, Matilda Hyde, who disapproves of her young son Dean's (Tom Corcoran) romance with Lorraine (Hannah Ridehalgh) but eventually she relents and she herself ends up with Earl (Harry Corcoran), the previously unseen Sherriff.
Which leaves just Chad and Natalie unhitched. Unfortunately she couldn’t persuade him to love her but he kindly took her on as his 'sidekick' instead.
The singing and dancing was enhanced by Jenny Birch's lively dance routines and colourful fifties outfits.
The band provided a dynamic backing throughout. Director, Les Gomersall is to be congratulated along with his cast for putting on a show that does great credit to S.0.N.G.
Star Rating: 7 out of 10
The kids and the music were great.
Review by Ron Ellis