MUSICAL shows have never shied away from addressing serious subjects and this production is no exception with its theme of dealing with racial discrimination in America during the early 1960s.

When a popular television song and dance show sets out to find a new star, school student Tracy decides to audition for the role and that’s when the trouble starts as friends and enemies take sides in the ensuing battle.

This WOW Youth Musical theatre production starts off as it means to go on, namely by presenting a stage full of young people putting their hearts into a display of colour, song and dance that hardly pauses for breath throughout the entire evening.

Ethnic differences are ignored in this show and skin colour soon become irrelevant as the lighthearted and often comic drama is played out, thanks to fine performances by the large cast whose vibrant energy and enthusiasm revives fond memories of the rock ‘n roll years.

Leading the pack as the ambitious Tracy is Clare Phelan, a dynamic girl with a big voice and an even bigger personality who gives her role an integrity and passion that is electrifying while Callum Heinrich is suitably sexy as the boy of her dreams.

Luke Muldoon marvellously plays Tracy’s mother in hilarious panto dame fashion, and Jamie Dovell keeps the joke going as Tracy’s father while Charlotte Watson is nicely supportive as Tracy’s best friend Penny and Reine Beau Anderson Dudley and Charlotte Allen are in great form as the terrible mother and daughter twosome who are out to steal everyone’s thunder with Luke Southorn in the role of the innovative dance routine performer.

In the hands of Jeremy Tustin, the production and choreography are in top form together with musical director Heather Reed. Under the baton of Alistair Dean, the band dominated the vocalists at times and a more restrained sound would have been helpful to the young singers.

The cast deal with the American accents very well although the dialogue proved to be something of a challenge to some of the audience but a show that is fast-paced, full of energy and lots of fun certainly deserves the full houses it is enjoying.

The production continues for the rest of the week.