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David Porter » Reviews » Whistle Down the Wind

Whistle Down the Wind

Norfolk Youth Music Theatre at Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

Reviewed published in the Eastern Daily Press, 3 November 2012

From the opening with the full cast on stage, this show both moves and gladdens the heart, stirs emotions and leaves room for plenty to think about.

There is an escaped convict on the loose just before Christmas. Village children think the stranger in the barn is Jesus.

On that story hangs a variation of the Nativity and parables and events from the Bible, including a Judas character in the boy (George Hunt) who betrays the Man, sympathetically played by John Chitty.

Rough, rural family life is captured perfectly with props and effects handled well. The acting and singing in the children’s chorus/disciples’ commentary is priceless; their parents wonderfully odd. The church nativity scene is hilarious.

The orchestra under Mark Sharp are excellent.

Director Adrian Connell has surpassed himself with this challenging piece of musical theatre. He’s well served by superb young performers and many up and coming ones. Cameos and larger roles work in harmony.

Nicola Myers, Tilly Chitty and Marland Barsby, the children who find and care for the Man, brilliantly convey first innocence, then dawning realisation that he cannot be Jesus. Or can he?

See it. Prepare to wipe a tear.

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