Our Nippers group caters for young performers from 7-14 years old, and currently meets weekly at Newton County Primary School on Tuesday Evenings.
The Nippers always perform on numerous occasions each year, including showcases, Christmas shows, Musicals & plays, and also have an opportunity to join some of NADOS' Musical Productions, plays and pantomimes.
Although we are currently fully subscribed, we do operate a waiting list and are looking at opportunities for new members.
Most of our Nippers move on to NADOS at the age of 14. The training and experience gained at Nippers is a great foundation to their future in Performing Arts, and to their growth as a person.
St Cuthberts Studio Theatre
Type of Production
Producer / Director
Beth Dilworth, Jean Carter
I had the pleasure of returning to NADOS this evening for their youth production of Little Shop of Horrors. Their first youth production since 2014, this production was originally cancelled three weeks before the show in July, due to problems with their venue. Needless to say, this show was able to make it to the stage – and thank goodness it did! There was a great talent onstage this evening and I dread to think what would’ve happened if all the hard work, dedication and commitment couldn’t have been showcased at all.
Little Shop of Horrors is one of my favourite musicals. With a fantastic score and decent plot line, this show is a great showcase for any society. The close harmonies and humour within the text was showcased well tonight. This production was co-directed by Jean Carter and Beth Dilworth and was set authentically. The over-all feel and vibe was brilliant and the whole production looked excellent. I loved the set, lighting, costumes and brilliant plants that made Audrey 2, which made the visuals stand out even more. This is quite a large theatre space and with the different locations within the productions such as the dentists’ office and the news reporter’s studio, this space was used very well throughout. Lots of the script talks about Skid Row and the Row was used well also. I liked the use of the front stoops of the houses, as well as the continuity of the front of the shop, along with the doorbell. The one piece of direction that I found confusing was the introduction of the mini girls who were basically younger versions of the narrators. For me, this didn’t work. All actors were very well rehearsed, and it was clear that a lot of hard work has gone into character building and storytelling.
The musical director was Beth Dilworth. I loved the pace of the score and the instruments used. I thought that the drummer was particularly great. I also liked the added voices of the backing singers to give it a more energetic and rounded vocal of the group numbers. The one thing I did notice was that lots of the cast were very strict in looking at the musical director, at the back, in order to come in for songs. This meant that they came out of character for a brief second whilst they waited to be brought in. Overall, I really enjoyed the music and the band sounded great.
The choreographer was Jean Carter. Whilst this show doesn’t have much dance in it, there are moments when characters dance or move with a particular style. For instance, the characters of Ronnette, Crystal and Chiffon move around in a very specific style and I thought that they carried off this movement extremely well. I liked the other choreographed moments such as the tango in Mushnick and Son. If I’m being really picky, I felt there was more that the two actors could do, dance wise, but it was still entertaining none the less.
The lighting was brilliant. I felt that it was bright, in your face and very apt for this piece. I particularly loved the use of the red and green gels which helped enhance the set and plants.
The sound was very disappointing and underwhelming. At various intervals throughout the show, the mics were popping in and out which made the audience lose lines of dialogue and parts of songs. I felt sorry for some of the actors whose mics weren’t working properly. I also thought that Audrey’s mic was a little too low.
The set was brilliant and helped make the whole piece come together. The use of the various Audrey 2’s was great also and visually, the set looked amazing; especially when the largest of the plants arrived and took over the set. Costumes looked great too, which helped enhance the time period and style. I didn’t like the make -up for Audrey’s black eye but I’m being really picky here!
Ruby O’Neill played the role of Audrey. Ruby was brilliantly cast in the role. Whilst it was a carbon copy of the character, created by Ellen Greene, Ruby stayed in character throughout and was entertaining to watch.
Seymour was brilliantly played by Harry Thompson. Harry had a lot of dialogue and held the show together. He also did very well to convey his character. There were times when Harry switched between his upper and lower register in some of his songs, but he has a great singing voice and is one to watch for the future!
Scarlett Harrison played the role of Mrs Mushnick. Written for a male, Scarlett did well to play this role. Her mic wasn’t working properly which hindered some of the dialogue. I also lost lines due to diction and articulation, but she was still entertaining to watch.
Lily Joundrill was outstanding as Orin. Again, this part is supposed to be played by a man, but Lily did very well to convey this character. Lily’s commitment to character and characterisation was excellent and she was thoroughly entertaining! Well done Lily!
Audrey 2 was sung by Grace Fisher. Grace had brilliant vocals and found the humour in both the text and within the song lyrics. I loved the various vocal elements that Grace brought and she was entertaining throughout.
Crystal, Ronnette and Chiffon were played by Sophie Harrison, Hollie McCarthy and Sophie Butterworth. These roles are my favourite characters in Little Shop of Horrors and are vital in their storytelling and narration. I love to see the different ways in which these roles are portrayed, and tonight’s performance certainly didn’t disappoint. All three girls sang brilliantly; displaying their great vocals. I especially loved their sassy characterisations and felt that they were really strong in their roles.
All other roles were played by members of the ensemble. Overall, I really enjoyed this version of Little Shop of Horrors. It’s easy to forget that this is a youth production as the standard was great. NADOS certainly have a good future ahead if this is the standard of the youth. I thank NADOS once again for their hospitality and can’t wait to return again in February for their panto, Dick Whittington.
26 July 2014
Byrchall High School
Type of Production
Producer / Director
Author: Peter Johnson
On a swelteringly hot summers night this young and very talented company plunged us to the depths of the deep blue sea to deliver what can only be described as an outstanding show. It was obvious from the start that they had followed directions with conviction, the simplicity of the set and props worked really well and whilst it exposed the cast it also allowed them to show off their acting skills which they all did with great aplomb. A well selected cast with some strong principals and excellent singing gave us all a thoroughly enjoyable evening. The show opened with the prince (Alex Hogg) a good characterisation needed to be a little stronger with the vocals but well done, King Triton (Jordon Billings) very strong commanding role, as was Flounder (Eleanor Page). Sebastian (Neve Buckley) and Chef Louis (Brandon Stokes) had the audience in fits of laughter in which they portrayed these comical roles well done, (Ariel) Neeve Dilworth was absolutely outstanding in this role not only the way she carried it off but with the most amazing voice pulling the audience in when she sat on the edge of the stage and delivered her song Part of Your World excellent well done. Olivia Trapnell as Ursula gave the most amazingly strong performance commanding the stage with every enticing word of dialogue and song extremely well done. The parts of Flotsam (Olivia Ashdown) and Jetsam (Alisha Morris) were beguiling beyond belief in which they enticed and pulled Ariel in to the trap they moved with all the grace and poise of classically trained dancers, keeping the characterisation going even when side stage without interfering with the plot, wonderful well done, the entire company played their parts in delivering this show congratulations to you all.