Review: Glass Ceiling Theatre’s Forbidden Broadway, Dolman Theatre, Newport

Musical Theatre beware! No production, impresario, stage star or phone toting merchandise collecting audience member is safe with Glass Ceiling theatre’s presentation of Forbidden Broadway which opened on Friday for the first of two performances at Newport’s Dolman theatre.

The presentation, featuring parodied twists on songs from favourite West End and Broadway shows, boasts a tightly knit ensemble cast of performers who display a strong ability to perform comedy as well as big vocal performances.

If you can imagine a 30-year-old orphan Annie reflecting on her yesterdays rather than looking forward to her tomorrows or the cast of Les Miserables wanting to perform in a happier musical, then this fun show will tickle your funny bone. Aimed at lovers of the musical theatre genre there are elements of the show that you don’t necessarily have to have seen all the originals to get the humour.

Glass Ceiling’s ensemble cast gel terrifically together on stage and are clearly having a ball, not just performing but making the audience laugh out loud. Its one thing to perform parodies and be self-contained but another to let the audience in on the joke. The boxes are ticked all the way here.

Zoe Southcott displays her comedic and vocal talents to the maximum with her portrayal of Carol Channingperforming Hello Dolly (her on-stage costume change is surely a Dolman Theatre first) before undertaking a fun face off with Kirsty Bridges on Chita/Rita (America).

Glass Ceiling Theatre perform Forbidden Broadway at Newport’s Dolman Theatre.Glass Ceiling Theatre perform Forbidden Broadway at Newport’s Dolman Theatre.

Glass Ceiling Theatre perform Forbidden Broadway at Newport’s Dolman Theatre.

Jordan Leigh displays a masterclass word summary worthy of the legendary Ronnie Barker on the Les Miserables (its how it reads) medley before leading the ensemble cast later with a Topol-esque performance of Ambition.

Conor Donovan entertains with a perfect rendition of Why I Love to Be A Cat while Thomas Carron achieves the seemingly impossible by encompassing drama and comedy as The Phantom opposite Emily John’s over-imposing Ethel Merman in their opening duet of act two.

There are also memorable laugh out loud performances from Lucy Parker, Tyrion Price and Jodie Pentney throughout the show all displaying a strong ability of comic and vocal delivery.

It must be said, there was not one person on stage I didn’t love. Each performer gave genuine belly laughs to the audience, a rare experience indeed! Credit must go to Director Emily John and Musical Director Victoria Bryant for bringing such a fun show and ensemble cast to the Dolman Theatre stage.

There’s one final opportunity to catch Glass Ceiling present Forbidden Broadway at The Dolman Theatre on September 22. If you love musical theatre with a touch of comedy thrown in for good measure – don’t miss it!

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