Arts Arts Reviews Muse

Theatre Review: From Up Here

This week Stephanie Ornithari-Roberts sees how Drama Soc take on a musical

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Image Credit: Credit: Anna Bunch

This week York’s Drama Society brings us Aaron Lee Lambert’s heartfelt musical, From Up Here, a wonderful one act show that puts people at its core.

The musical highlights the lives of five New Yorkers whose troubles bring them to Brooklyn Bridge. As the narrative develops the characters connect with eachother and their anxieties, finding solace and perspective as they begin to share their stories. A mature piece with a beautiful score, David Charter’s direction brings this humane story to life.

Walking into the Barn was a transitional experience. The use of paint and levels transported the set to New York, making the performance space unlike I have ever seen it before. With a small orchestra placed behind the recreated bridge, Jacob Taylor did a brilliant job leading his focused musicians, adding depth to the down town New York setting. The saxophonist in particular stood out when playing Alan’s musical motif. . The harmonies consistantly performed by the actors were strong. In a space where not much sound can hide amongst the five players, they sustained a beautiful cohesion with one another.

The actors brought contrast and truth to repeated lyrics such as “This isn’t the end, this is the beginning” or “From up here I can feel the future”.  David Charter’s direction used the space and lighting to create a very atmospheric piece. Each character had their own unique tension which excelled in the directed use of levels and technical movements. David’s vision successfully came to life from the opening to the end of the performance.

I have to commend all actors in this show as there was no weak link. It was lovely to see an amateaur production performed with so much pace and energy.  Emily, played by Eleanor Frampton, was vocally a challenging role which she grew with confidence throughout the piece. Fulled with expression throughout, Eleanor showed commitment to Emily’s complex character.

Jill was played by Lotty Holder and also had musically challenging moments with fast paced tung twisting lyrics.
Lotty rose to the challenge as she confidently brought energy to Jill’s chaotic tendencies. Brendan O’Farrell’s voice shone throughout his performances with a lovely vibrato and control of breathe. Jacob Ashbridge not only achieved a very convincing American accent, he also transposed this into his singing voice. He really made the audience love Henry’s nobility. Rory Hutchison embodies the inner city high wired busniessmen, he brought great physicality to his character.

The atmosphere in the Barn suggested that the audience fell in love with Lambert’s story and characters. The dream sequence scene as well as the loving moments between Dan and Emilyreally stood out as creating moments of raw emotion. A really wonderful show I would recomend to anyone who wants a story with heart, laughter and love.

9/10

Credit: Anna Bunch
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