When it was announced that Royal Holloway’s MTS was putting on “Spring Awakening”, with a first time director and plans to stage it in an infamously awkward performance space, I automatically set myself up for disappointment. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Directed by first-year Angus Wyatt, the talented and energetic cast wowed the audience with their rendition of the 2006 Sater/Sheik rock musical, which follows the parental and sexual struggles of 11 German teenagers in the 1890’s.
The leading couple, Wendla and Melchior (Zadie Ward and Ross Virgo) stunned the audience with their vulnerability and talent – Ross’ rendition of the heart-wrenching Those You’ve Known proved to be an exceptionally mature and heartfelt performance. Karl Mercer also made an impact as Moritz, an odd but loveable underachiever. His angsty portrayal managed to simultaneously create sympathy and anger, whilst Ashleigh Togher and Joshua Ward’s incredible versatility as swings was undeniably impressive.
The exquisite score was played effortlessly by Joe Robinson’s band, while Amy Higgins’ dynamic and vivacious choreography suiting the tone of the show perfectly. The chorus was strong overall, and although some of the singing and dancing was not quite perfect, it was made up for by the high energy and professionalism of the cast – thanks to the fantastic use of audience involvement made possible by the use of thrust staging.
MTS will be putting on a Summer Showcase on the 21st to the 24th May – if it promises a plethora of talent as high as this, it will definitely be worth seeing.
The show ran from the 20th to the 23rd of March.
4 1/2 Stars