Showtime Challenge: The Boyfriend @ Her Majesty's Theatre
We're still doing 'The Riviera' and singing 'I could be happy with you' (even though I only just met you and haven't a clue who you are....) because Showtime Challenge's production of The Boyfriend was brilliant.
Thrown together in 48 hours this madcap production tells the quaintly daft love story of toffs in teen turmoil in the South of France. Capitalising on arch eyebrows, bare cheek and the hopeless innocence of a bygone age, the show thrilled with hazardous Charleston dancing that should have taken weeks to perfect, showstopping ensemble numbers and funny sweet turns by all the lead roles. Never mind dodgy mics and absolute minimum scenery: star quality and bravura shone through.
The cast was drawn from open auditions attracting up and coming theatre talent as well as accountants, lawyers, journos and members of the Fire Brigade taking 48 hours out from their routine to indulge their inner thesp. They, the orchestra and production team are all volunteers making Showtime Challenge a unique event, full of a energy inspired by the huge task they face with total commitment and big smiles. They not only raised bucketloads of cash for The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts but made themselves superb role models for any kids looking to get involved in the crazy business called show.
Guest host and celebrity supporter Anneka Rice ensured there was plenty of whooping and cheering to egg the cast on from the start but her encouragement wasn't necessary by the curtain call, as the audience gave the whole amazing gang a standing ovation.
These photos from the rehearsals give just a hint of the fun and freneticism involved in putting on a west end show in a weekend.
Watch the cast, crew & friends do the Charleston Challenge at Pimlico Academy, dancing the Drink Up Chicken:
Photographs by Vish Vishvanath and Misha von Bennigsen.
Last Updated 11 May 2011