An air of anticipation builds around the school each November as the performance of the Senior School musical draws near and this year, anticipation was met with great delight as pupils laid on another remarkable theatrical feast for the audience.
Thoroughly Modern Millie is a fun-filled musical that follows the arrival in 1920’s New York of the title character, Millie Dillmount, who is determined to have a ‘modern life’ and is fiercely independent, though still looking for love, which she finds after many twists and turns, with Jimmy Smith. The musical numbers were sung with a passionate verve and the whole cast tapped their way flawlessly through many light-hearted dance routines including an impressive whirl of desks and typewriters.
Meanwhile, in a feat more expected in the language lab at school, Rory Greenwood and Jonathan Yang delivered lines in Mandarin, working great comic timing in to a complex language with apparent ease. The leads, Caitlin Hoddle and Robert Merriam, shared many touching moments, portraying the 1920’s changing times and relationships, with a mixture of both subtlety and slapstick.
Cast and crew ensured that the performances were of the very highest quality, encouraging the reviewer from The Portsmouth News to summarise neatly the depth of talent on show. “All through Portsmouth Grammar School’s Thoroughly Modern Millie I reminded myself that I was watching 12 to 18-year old amateur, untrained performers,” said James George. “In a city that seems to have more amateur companies per square mile than, well, the rest of the planet combined, this cast can be considered among the very, very best. Top, top marks.”