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Bouncy, bold and BACK!!!

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

Friday 23rd July 2016 Riverhead Theatre, Louth.

Thirty Dancing by Studio 2000

Its been a very long time since I last had the pleasure of watching Studio 2000’s last show, Jazz Hands, but they have returned with as big a show as the pandemic has allowed this year. Nicky Wright opened proceedings with a little speech that indicated the trials and tribulations of running a dance school, where you don’t know from one day to the next who will be available to rehearse or perform.

Performing arts provide children with an all-round education that just happens to focus on a very particular set of skills, dependent on the discipline chosen. They also cater to the social, emotional and mental well-being of each child who takes part.

To be involved in a show of this scale can only help these children to return to a semblance of normality. The dedication of their teachers must be saluted as well as the resilience of every single performer tonight.

Studio 2000 always produces a remarkably inclusive and yet technically demanding, entertaining and colourful show laced with humour and peppered with some wonderful music. Thirty Dancing, despite all its challenges, is no exception.

Around 150 dancers of varying ages took to the stage tonight. The show opened with Sweet Lovin’ and moved majestically into a number from Cats, before delighting audiences with a charming Hoop De Doo as the Babes were guided through a lovely routine that they lapped up and seemed to be ready for any applause that followed.

The variety of music featured in tonight’s soundtrack was stunning and to list every song or every routine would take far too long. Nevertheless, its safe to say that it felt like there was something for every generation of the family in tonight’s show.

As a lover of musical theatre, I loved seeing some of the interpretations of songs from Dear Evan Hansen, The Wiz and Bugsy Malone. The performance of Creepy Old Guy from Beetlejuice was highly entertaining and laced with humour from the talented youngsters.

One bold performance was the Schuyler Sisters from Hamilton which featured the Senior Singers. It was beautifully costumed, well-choreographed and the singers really rose to the challenge of a difficult song.

My favourite performance from a musical though had to be Ex-Wives from Six. The colour and variety of the costume was wonderful, and it was a perfect opener for Act Two. Studio 2000 always make interesting choices for their new show routines and Six is a terrific addition to their repertoire. I also enjoyed Haus of Holbein. I hope to see future routines based on some more of the songs from the show.

There are so many talented dancers in the current crop and although, as always, this will be the farewell show for some, there are plenty of emerging dancers who will carry the torch into the next show and beyond.

In every audience at the Riverhead Theatre, former students at the school support the current crop of pupils. The school is an institution that has helped shaped the lives of hundreds of children and at the core of it, lies a dedicated team bringing the talent through and promoting their well-being – here’s to their next 30 years!

Andy Evans

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