Review: The 24 Hour Musical – ‘New Year’s Eve’

SAMANTHA BENSON is stunned by this incredible night of music and laughter, all of which was pulled off in 24 hours

24 Hour Musical ADC Cambridge Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society CUMTS New Years Eve Tab the tab Theatre

“Forget about what was, and focus on what is.” 

Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society’s 24 Musical may have seen a few forgotten lyrics and small sound issues, but it must not be forgotten that this was a musical written, produced and performed in just 24 hours.

The night was stuffed full of stunning performances. Shame about that acronym though.

The night was stuffed full of stunning performances. Shame about that acronym though.

The band took centre stage and the stage lighting was simple but effective in a nice red. The beginning saw a variety of New Year’s Eve characters. The opening number, despite some small sound issues set the musical up for a great start with its catchy score and lyrics (Steve Gage and Rozzi Peters).

Harmonies in the first team performance were lovely. Both Olivia Gaunt and Adi George had good comic timing and dealt with lyrical and timing errors in an amusing way. Ben Glassberg and Zak Ghazi-Torbati continued the humour as a pair of imprisoned burglars. With the energy of a pantomime double act, they kept the audience giggling throughout.

Gormless and no style. Good thing they're talented.

Gormless and no style. Good thing they’re talented.

Although Phoebe Stone appeared visually nervous, which made me worried, it was misplaced as her voice was lovely, and she delivered a great solo performance. Joe Pitts was also excellent as an oppressed Christmas elf in his solo slot. He made the audience laugh (a lot!), and had such wonderful characterisation in his voice.

However, the biggest praise for the evening must go to Jonathan Beilby, Will Popplewell, and James Daly who gave an absolutely phenomenal performance, with dance breaks full of simply FABULOUS choreography (Gabbie Bird), that had everyone clapping along and cheering. Their harmonies were also on point, and the sound was one of the best all evening. Furthermore, their song itself was brilliant, with clever show references in the lyrics and a really catchy tune (Ryan Rodrigues).

(More videos can be found on the CUMTS YouTube channel)

Sadly, it was a hard act to follow, and the energy fell a little after their slot. Despite the length of the next song, Cat Stirling and Ed Limb did give lovely vocals, and Toby Marlow provided some good comedy.

The strength of the penultimate song perhaps suffered by being at the end, but was still very funny. Lyrically, this number was particularly impressive, and Lily Lindon and Connie Chapman shone through with effortless comedy.

Creating a whole musical in 24 hours. No mean feat.

Creating a whole musical in 24 hours. No mean feat.

Unfortunately, several of Peters‘s witty finale lyrics went largely unheard. However, we should not dwell on this; the performers put across energy and enthusiasm despite their varying knowledge of the lyrics – Ghazi-Torbati hilariously just clapped and jammed along to the whole song.

Overall the individual performances of the musical stuck close to the ‘New Years’ Eve’ theme, and kept the audience thoroughly entertained throughout. I cannot wait for CUMTS’ next offering.

83% – A resounding starred 1st

(An extra special note of thanks to the young lady in F7 who provided me with a pencil to write this review when my pens failed- you’re a star.)

Music and lyric credits for video: Ryan Rodrigues (Guys and Dolls, MMPS, Week 4). Directed by: Gabbie Bird (RENT, CUADC, Weeks 8-9)