Creative Theatre


West London


The musical “Shout!” is a celebration of a decade that changed society with women’s liberation, the pill, free love, marijuana, and new fashions and defined by the music of the period from the Beetles to a host of wonderful female singers including Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black, Shirley Bassey, Nancy Sinatra, Mary Hopkins and Petula Clark. It is a perfect opportunity to showcase the female singers in a society in a vibrant fun lively show and SWMTC’s production rises to the challenge for their first show back after Covid.

This Jukebox musical uses the conceit of letters written by five women of different ages to a Sixties women’s magazine “Shout” to frame the show with the old-fashioned responses from its agony aunt providing poor advice and signally the world was changing. At times, it has the feel of the anarchic TV Rowan and Martin’s laugh in show (1968-1973) with its sketches and dancing go-go girls interrupted to deliver short gags. Each of the women get their moment centre stage and they work well together as backing singers and in the harmonies.

The fast-moving show, which runs for ninety minutes without an interval is simply set on low rise rostra with five excellent projection screens to help set scenes and themes. The excellent sound effects, spotlights on the leads and plenty of haze add to that atmosphere and support the performances well. It makes for a very enjoyable evening which had an appreciative audience clapping and singing along.

Director & Sound Lead, Craig Howard , used his cast well to create the look and feel of the Sixties with good use of the stage space and variation in the presentation. The sound mix was  a good blend of backing tracks and vocalists. There was some very good well timed integrated sound effects which worked wonderfully in the marijuana smoking , drinking, and breaking up scenes.

The Lighting was attractive and picked out the lead vocalists clearly in a well-balanced lighting design with the five video scenes adding to the mood and setting of the scenes. I really liked the use of these screens especially for the word “Shout” , images of Piccadilly Circus and for the covers of each edition of the magazine. The psychedelic colours like a lava lamp were good.

The show built well as a show to a brilliant conclusion, reminded us of the vibrant sound of the Sixties (especially the host of female stars) and the excitement and change of the decade. It was a show which cast, and audience could enjoy together in a fun evening’s entertainment.


The Wizard of Oz brings with it a legacy of past productions and of course the 1939 classic film and requires a production to pay homage to that film, successfully create the alternative worlds of the characters and some moments of theatrical magic, a leading lady with innocent charm and a fine voice and of course a small dog that behaves impeccably. MMCS rises to this challenge magnificently with their very fine production of the show at the intimate Kenton Theatre.

The back projection of some very well designed and executed animated “back clothes”, with sufficient easily set on stage furniture brilliantly pays that homage to the film and sets each scene with a magical ease. Dorothy and Toto make a perfect pairing and she delvers the iconic “Over the Rainbow” with effortless control and is very well supported by the physicality of the performances from the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion.

The Director and Choreographer then weave in the other characters with a good ensemble as Munchkins, Crows, Trees, Lullaby league, Jitterbugs, and Flying Monkeys, in brightly coloured costumes, in some delightfully precise and well executed routines as we travel along the Yellow Brick Road. The whole production is underpinned by an excellent orchestration from a band of eight under the Musical Director crammed into a tiny orchestra pit under the stage! The combined effect is a very polished and attractive looking show that was a joy to watch

Craig Howard masterminded this excellent production and was I understand responsible for the wonderful animated back cloth projection which added a cinematic feel to the show. There were very many lovely touches in the animation like the horse moving in the Marvel scene, the torch light flickering on the castle wall the “surrender Dorothy” animation and each arrival of Glinda.  The direction, use of the stage especially the forestage walkway and groupings were excellent throughout.

Craig Howard’s lighting and sound design was perfect with a good sound mix and balance and excellent lighting ensuring those on the forestage or even running though the auditorium were well lit and never bleaching out the back projection or creating large shadows on it.



This production was full of the 1960s colour and costumes, with well rehearsed choreography and some excellent vocal delivery. The production was very well cast with all the principals performed exceptionally well indeed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this energetic production. The singing was spot on, the choreography polished and the parts were very well cast. Movement looked natural, and entrances and exits were well conceived the pace and energy was maintained throughout.

Noda 2015,