I’ve long championed the CTC as one of the best musical am-dram groups in the area. They’ve turned their talents to big musicals such as Cats and Hairspray with performances to rival professional productions and it’s all done under the watchful eye of Principal of The CTC, Bridie Horne.
The other thing to note is that as well as being an am-dram group, all the performers are 21 and under.
So they’ve cornered the musicals but for their latest production they turned to straight drama and furthermore Bridie let go of the reigns to allow Madeline Mears make her directing debut. (Naturally Bridie was around to ensure things were up to CTC Standards, not that she needed to worry).
Numbers is a one-act play, and I confess not a play that I’ve personally encountered before, that played at The Avenue Theatre in Ipswich recently.
Set in a public girls school, It’s a bit of Lord of the Flies meets Mean Girls, and these girls are “mean”!
The entire play is set in the dorm of the four sixth form girls on the eve of the announcement of a new Head Girl. The loyalty of the girls to each other is tested to the limit, Katherine clearly thinks she is the obvious choice, especially as Daddy has invested so much into the school. Isabel and Jennifer support her, but do they do so more out of fear?
The story has many comic touches but underneath there’s some very strong lines that makes the audience gasp…. writer Kieron Barry certainly didn’t hold back.
While being equally entertaining and humorous the story is also shocking too and bravely portrays bullying.
Finally we must mention lovely Hetty, always wanting to back the underdog and see justice, but will she be another victim of the trio of scheming girls?
All four actresses, Livvy Campbell-Barr, Cameron Jarrold, Lucy Stokes and Beth Shave turn in first rate and convincing performances, and Madeline Mears can be proud that she has maintained the excellent standard of The CTC and proved that they don’t just sing!
• CTC’s next production is The Christmas Carol, find out more about the company at www.thectc.co.uk
Review: Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine
Picture: By Mike Kwasniak – left to right Cameron Jarrold, Livvy Campbell-Barr, Beth Shave and Lucy Stokes