REVIEW: Bye Bye Birdie – The Dance School of Scotland, Citizen’s Theatre Glasgow 20th June 2012

It’s the late 1950s and teenagers from across the United States are going crazy  for the handsome rock star, Conrad Birdie.  Meanwhile, his manager, Albert  Peterson, is going into debt and has staked his financial future on Conrad’s  success.  Albert’s secretary, Rosie, is increasingly frustrated with the time  and money Albert is losing on his project.  Disaster strikes when Conrad  receives a draft notice to join the military. Thus, Albert attempts to stage a  farewell party for Conrad in which he is to kiss one lucky fan on the Ed  Sullivan Show before he leaves for the army.  Kim MacAfee, from Sweet Apple,  Ohio, is the lucky girl chosen to be kissed.  But conflict arises when her  boyfriend, Hugo Peabody, gets jealous…

Showcasing the skills of the Musical Theatre students of the Dance School of Scotland this is a chance to see the best of young musical theatre talent before they hit the big time and I would urge you to take the chance. The overall quality of the performances was exceptionally high but I must single out two of the leads who are undoubtedly destined for greater things:

Ewan Black by John Cooper

In particular Ewan Black (above) playing Albert, (finalist in the Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year) a young man possessed of an acting talent as good as anything I’ve seen on the professional stage and Kara Swinney, so utterly convincing as his mother Mae.

That talent of this quality is nurtured in this country is something to be proud of – shout it from the rooftops – but not before you’ve bought a ticket to see this.

Runs until Saturday 23rd June at The Citizens Theatre.