Elegies for, Angels, Punks and Raging Queens
Centrestage Youth Theatre. The Point Eastleigh 7th August 2021
Elegies by definition is ‘a poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead’. An elegy is there to express feelings of something or someone you have lost. So, here we follow the elegies of those who have passed due to HIV/AIDS, all those Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.
The show, with book and lyrics by Bill Russell and music by Janet Hood.
Russell’s speech is so poetic and lyrical, magical at times. There is so much dialogue to enjoy. And Janet’s music is just so beautiful; the amount of emotion within her score is tear jerking, as well as being uplifting in places.
I’m a bit of an aficionado on Elegies, having lived through this period in the 80’s. Elegies is one of my top 10 musicals, having seen it so many times, the first being the original on the west end stage in the 80’s. Since then I have seen it in London twice, in the back of a pub, and the Union Theatre recently.
Centrestage’s Youth Theatre production of Elegies this week at the Point Eastleigh, is one I will add to my list. Co-Directors Will Jones and Mike Mullen’s direction is thought provoking and imaginative. I loved the concept in the way it was performed and staged.
We see just four chairs and various sizes of projection screens. Simple but as the show progresses nothing else was needed. All the prose was performed by 27 young actors, telling their own story’s on camera and projected onto the various screens…Perfect.
Soloists Kiean Jones, Tyler Convery, Izzy Li, and Lily Rochard, all gave us solid performances, with good voices to match.
Nigel Finch as Musical Director gave us a superb quality of sound from his band and just the right volume for the venue, excellent Nigel.
Praise must go out to all who made this production of Elegies happen, from stage management to lighting and sound, I enjoyed it immensely. Well done to all of you, and also for making me so welcome, it was worth the journey.
Good luck in all future productions.
Reviewed for Mark Allen