Our Day Out - CADOS, Chorley Little Theatre
A class of inner-city teenagers are on an end of term outing in Willy Russell’s hilarious musical.
The pupils from the Progress Class are waiting for the bus that will take them from the delights of Chorley to the promised land of castles and beaches in Conway.
Mrs (call me Helen) Kay – a lovely portrayal by Karen Miller – has organised the trip and brought along Mr Briggs (a gritty performance by Steven Catterall) to supervise the day.
Also helping are teaching colleagues Colin (Alex Delaney) and his partner Susan (Nicola Stringfellow).
All are having a helluva job controlling the 13 unruly children.
Briggsy has written them all off as next to useless, but Mrs Kay is their ally because she knows they only have problems because of their home lives.
Despite the watchful eyes of the teachers, the pupils manage to steal animals from a zoo visited en route in a great scene when they board the bus with real animals stuffed under their jackets – rabbits, hens, mice – so funny!
Poignant lyrics are rife in this production. A particularly rousing number is one from The Lion King when a padded orange school backpack is held aloft – in Simba fashion - a lovely touch from director Kate Burke, who pulled this show together beautifully with the children giving their all and really living their parts.
A particularly tender moment was near the end when young Carole Chandler went missing – even stirring Briggsy’s emotions when he found her teetering on the edge of a cliff because she’d rather jump than go back home.
Cue a very emotional song – Why Can’t It Always be Like This? – a real tear-jerker.
A rousing finale brought their joyful day to an end. Mysteriously their photos haven’t come out but they’ll have their memories for ever.
Stunning performances from everyone!