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Jet Set Go! at The Pump House*****
Choreographed routines featuring trolley bags and airline tap-dancing air stewards were among the cabin-load of delights that greeted the Pump House audience at last night's amateur staging for Pippa Cleary and Jake Brunger's refreshingly modern musical Jet Set Go!, which debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008.
During a transatlantic flight we meet the on-board staff and travel with them to New York for a brief but eventful stopover. There is plenty of grist to the comedy mill with the range of characters - two gay flight attendants with very different lifestyle choices, a lovestruck chief stewardess who's just dying to get her feet back on the ground and a nervous newbie with high expectations of her maiden voyage.
Jake's script is good and Pippa's lyrics fly along in slickly successful fashion, but that's not the whole story.
Karen Rhodes, herself a remarkable playwright and her son Ben, who directs the show, have put together a gem of a production. The cast are all exemplary singers and actors too.
Yasmin Freeman follows up her impressive Little Shop of Horrors performance with a stellar turn as the passenger-hating Puerto Rican siren Julia (pronounced Hoolia), who is keen to get on a more permanent basis with the captain. Tom Stevenson plays the jaded pilot Jim in deliciously deadpan fashion and he is not alone in mastering the art of subtle characterisation. Alex Pope is divine as the just camp enough Ryan and Calum Littley (who has one of the finest voices in the troupe) is a great contrast as Richard, who prefers his men to be less flamboyant.
Although the plot may be farcical, the Pump House Youth Theatre's portrayal of this motley crew is finely drawn and human. Chloe Pamplin excels as old-hand Nicola showing a sensitivity way beyond her years and Hollie Sullivan is accomplished as the wide-eyed new girl Mel.
The 30,000ft praise however must go to Amy Lovell whose take on Welsh Valley girl Hayley is nothing short of genius.
Take your seats now for the trip of a lifetime, but be warned - a strong stomach for sex and swearing is required.
Show runs until Saturday, July 14 at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 4pm. Details: 05603 680958