The very definition of an ensemble piece, Threshold Theatre Company’s production of A Chorus Line showcases the talents of a strong cast of upcoming musical theatre stars.
Set on a bare stage with just some mirrors and bags scattered at the edges, the show tracks an audition day for a musical, with 24 dancers being whittled down to a coveted eight places on the eponymous chorus line.
An unusual casting technique takes us beyond the technical though, with the lives and insecurities of the hopeful performers stripped as bare as their surroundings.
The piece relies on the whole cast pulling their weight, but there are particularly strong turns from Daniel Elliot as the straightforwardly gay Jewish Greg, Emma Venier as unvanquished dancer Diana, Emily Sidnell as the brassy Val, and Holly Graham as seen it, done it Sheila. Ben Woodward and Georgia Skipper confidently deliver comic parts that bring big laughs.
Kathryn White dances captivatingly as the former flame of ‘director’ Zach (James Bell), and Nic Gordon gives a heart-wrenching performance as the troubled Paul.
Director April Nash and choreographer Michelle Unstead marshall the complex piece well, with a few amendments to the book to accommodate gaps in some of the very specific casting requirements. The one hour 50 minute runtime without interval flies by.
This amateur production feels every inch the professional show; there should be plenty of callbacks for this troupe.
- A Chorus Line continues at Norwich Playhouse until 4 June 2022.