High School Musical 2 is a triumph on the small stage

In rehearsal: the cast of High School Musical 2
In rehearsal: the cast of High School Musical 2
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High School Musical 2

Andrew Milthorpe Danceworks and Theatreworks:

Square Chapel

Superb central performances, confident singing, high-energy, complex, often accesorised dance routines, deft stagecraft and strong ensemble support conveyed the wholesome exuberance of High School Musical 2 with infectious joy.

Successfully negotiating the small stage and relishing their opportunities to perform, every member the hand-picked cast shone in director Andrew Milthorpe’s fast-paced, focussed and totally professional production.

In HSM2 Troy, Gabriella, the Evans siblings and the Wildcats are about to embark on summer jobs at Lava Springs Country Club, owned by Sharpay’s big shot father.

The story may be simple – some might say simple-minded – but the demands of the choreography, ballads, pop numbers and choruses, to say nothing of the snappy dialogue propelling the story, are anything but.

Katie-Faye Moorhouse was perfect as outrageously spoilt, vain, self-centred Sharpay, contrasting well with Nikki Clarke’s sweet-natured Gabriella whose moving rendition of I Gotta Find My Own Way was quite outstanding.

Hayden Sugden and Jonny Redman gave convincing performances as Troy and Ryan with Esther Myers a suitably put-upon – and very elegant Fulton. Sweet-voiced Rosie Cowell, Corey Mitchell, Liam Parkin and Tobias Stephenson also made their mark.

Julia Anderson