Culture Editor Olivia Boyce reviews an enjoyable performance of GMTG’s summer showcase, ‘Step in Time’, featuring songs from theatre and film

Recent graduate BA English, current MA Literature and Culture student. Print Editor for Redbrick Culture. Appreciator of all things literary or stagey. Often found singing musical theatre tunes when I think no-one is watching.

It’s that time of year again, when exams are over, Gradball has been and gone, and GMTG have once again performed one of their famed showcases. The Deb Hall at the Guild was filled with a variety of tunes performed by a large cast, and all in-keeping with this summer’s theme, Step in Time.

The showcase featured songs from a wide spectrum of musicals, with audiences being treated to iconic numbers including, of course, ‘Step In Time’ from Mary Poppins, and ‘Luck be a Lady’ from Guys and Dolls. GMTG clearly displayed many of their array of talented members though these and other songs, as each featured a strong ensemble, often producing vocal harmonies that were remarkably and impressively complex.

‘Luck Be a Lady’ (Photo: Elafris Photography)

Many of the song choices were perhaps unexpected, with several songs that usually go unnoticed in favour of their respective shows more well-known songs. ‘We Both Reached For The Gun’ from Chicago was brilliantly performed, with a pretty fabulous chorus providing great vocals for the reporters that drive the song, and ‘Together, Wherever We Go’ from Sondheim and Styne’s Gypsy was also a refreshing choice, especially given the show is one packed with powerhouse songs. ‘Ease on Down the Road’, a catchy and energetic song from The Wiz, performed by Steph Lindo, Izzie Reid, Shira Abkin, and Hannah Morrow, had the audience tapping their feet along.

‘Diva’s Lament’, a wonder of a tune from the Monty Python show Spamalot, was hilariously performed by Helen Parsons as a real highlight of the second act, preceded by the equally excellent ‘Raise the Roof’ from the Wild Party, performed by Millie Harris, accompanied by an ensemble. The iconic ‘Damn It, Janet’ from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, performed by Thomas Kershaw-Green and Robyn McPherson, was perfectly cast (and I admit, left me wanting a full-blown production!) All gave vocal and character performances that would be at home in professional productions, and created real standout moments in a showcase full of admirable and enjoyable performances. 

'...vocal and character performances that would be at home in professional productions...'

The band were impressive throughout, realising the orchestrations of some of the theatre world’s greatest composers and lyricists with absolute professionalism. From the striking chords of A Chorus Line, to the powerful beat of Footloose’s ‘Holding Out For A Hero’, they excelled constantly. The many moments of dance, and indeed the dancers themselves, were also a welcome addition, and a welcome surprise lay in their performance of the iconic ‘Barn Dance’ from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

‘Raise the Roof’ (Photo: Elafris Photography)

Though each song could perhaps have benefitted from a little contextualisation, particularly for those that many would be unfamiliar with, and at times the band were louder than the singers, these are minor complaints – the showcase was an enjoyable evening, performed by some rather fab students, showcasing some of musical theatre’s boldest and best songs.