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Wait For Me – a new British dance musical | Review

Wait For Me' a major new British dance musicalFirst things first – well done to the team behind Wait For Me for completing this project with Covid restrictions still some way away from being eased completely. The camera work is excellent, especially given some of the lighting is (for narrative reasons – that is, a scene or two set at night) quite dark in places. It is perhaps worth pointing out that the cast and creatives formed a social ‘bubble’ for the purposes of making this production, just in case anyone might be wondering why the two-metre guideline isn’t being universally adhered to.

It’s all so expressly sprightly and joyful to begin with that one gets the feeling that at some point the story will transform, sooner or later, into something altogether more foreboding: the show plumbs the depths of depression just as much as is it amplifies the euphoria of abundant joy. Primarily a dance performance, it is open to interpretation to an extent but some accompanying lyrics, where they exist, provide an anchor for the storyline. Occasionally, though, it borders on overkill – when Jack (Jaih Betote) is on bended knee holding out a ring in small box and Emma (Chrissy Brooke) is vigorously nodding in approval, are words really necessary to further expound what is going on?

Such concerns are, ultimately, negligible in a performance as engrossing as this: lyricist Sam Cassidy more than redeems himself in later scenes, particularly one where a major setback (to put it mildly) is expressed in succinct thoughts and feelings without melodrama. The dancing itself is impeccable and vibrant, without ever playing to the gallery. The plot is not exactly ground-breaking, but at least the audience is not deprived of a happy ending, but the beauty of this work is in its simplicity, as well as the range of emotions expressed through each character, not only through facial expressions but their whole demeanour.

As the story spans several decades in less than an hour, I found the pace at which Emma falls pregnant, having only just met Jack moments before, slightly comical (and momentarily asking myself if there’s about to be a plot twist if someone else turns out to be the father). The ending, therefore, feels a little drawn out, but I think this is because of the borderline breakneck pace of the first three-quarters of proceedings.

Incredibly moving, this is a mesmerising experience, and a proverbial kick up the rear end to recent suggestions that careers in the creative industries are ‘unviable’. Worth seeing.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

Angels dance away the millennia in the realm of Heaven, two ethereal beings, entwined for all eternity and wrapped up in euphoric bliss until the moment they are split. Separated, they are sent to Earth with half a mortal soul wrapped in their arms. To fulfil a sacred vow, each must now act as the guardian of a mortal, destined to find their soul mate. Yet an angel’s journey is so much more than fulfilment of an ancient duty: for not only must these unseen guardians guide their mortals toward their destined other halves, it is only at the very moment that mortal soul mates touch that angels are free to resume their everlasting dance.

And so begins the story of Jack and Emma: two halves destined to be made whole; and the ebb and flow of the lives they lived and danced as one…

Wait For Me – Official Trailer

Singers: Eloise Davies (Brooke Lohst in ‘Be More Chill’ at The Other Palace) and Bluey Robinson (‘The Lion King’, Tom Hoopers’ ‘Cats’ movie).

Dancers: Ainsley Ricketts, Chrissy Brooke, Clarice Lanta Lilly, Jaih Betote.

Creatives: Concept, Music and Lyrics Sam Cassidy, Director and Choreographer Ainsley Ricketts, Assistant Choreographer Dean Lee, Cinematographer Nick Ross, Lighting Design Matthew Carnazza, Sound Design Will Vaughan.

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