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13 The Musical – Youth Production – British Theatre Academy Review

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13 The Musical is an original musical with a fresh take on those high school labels – Geek, Poser, Jock, Beauty Queen, Wannabe.

With a brilliant pop-rock score form Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown and hilariously witty book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, 13 is bursting with laughs, energy and heart. The story follows young teen Evan Goldman as he moves with his mum from their busy life in New York to small town Appleton Indiana, following his parents divorce. Evan is desperate to fit in in this new town and in his efforts to do so gets caught up in some teenage trouble, from which he learns that in fact it’s much better to stand out!

The British Theatre Academy gives these incredible young performers a brilliant training experience. The talent of the youngsters explodes onto the stage rivalling any other West End show and the excitement beams from every single member of the cast.

Director and choreography Ewan James brings this coming of age musical bang up to date with bold choices and a fearless cast. The choreography is slick and bursting wth energy. Along with assistant director/ choreographer Katy Stephens they really have created a joyous production. Musical supervisor James Taylor and musical director Chris Ma have done an exquisite job on this production. The complex rock score is excellently executed by the band and cast whilst still capturing a youthful spark that is so vital to the show.

Tom Paris’ design is exciting and vibrant echoing the personalities of the young teens. Milo Panni gives a strong, likeable leading performance as Evan. A highlight of the show is the number ‘What It Means To Be A Friend’ heartbreakingly performed by Madeline Banbury as Patrice. She delivers incredibly effortless vocals and a stunning emotional journey. Ethan Quinn gives an endearing and hilarious performance as the terminally ill Archie. He is without a doubt one of the youngest members of the cast and yet he had the audience in the palm of his hand throughout the entire show. His comic timing is impeccable, a true star in the making.

The press night performance got a truly deserved standing ovation with every member of the audience beaming as they left the theatre.

13 The Musical is fresh, current and uplifting. Do yourself a favour and go see this show – an hour and a half of sheer joy, you will not be disappointed.