Loserville

I was offered tickets by a friend of mine to her new production of Loserville on the 6th August 2015. The production was put on by Aylesbury Vale Youth Theatre, a local performing arts group.

The show tells the story of Michael Dork, who wants to change the world by allowing people to be able to communicate by computer, resulting in the invention of emails. He then befriends fellow computer geek Holly Manson and together, they make this dream a reality.

Haden Spence was cast in the role of Michael Dork and was outstanding. All performers involved with AVYT I believe are between the ages of 16 and 21 but they are all so professional and serious about what they do, making this show truly delightful and Spence was no exception. Michael is an extremely bright character who loves Science but is picked on for being a ‘geek’ – he’s basically a very sweet boy who wants to change the whole world. Spencer’s portrayal of this character was both funny and touching at the same time. We all know how it feels to be ‘different’ and people may not like us for it but we still have to be ourselves – that is the message I got from the character of Michael and it was conveyed with beautiful emotion and honesty from this young actor.

Holly Manson was played by Emma Kniebe and out of all the performers on stage, she stood out the most. She has the most incredible voice and is such a natural actress, she really felt the character’s feeling and consequently made the audience feel it too. Holly joins the school and is unafraid to declare her dream of wanting to become an astronaut – the first woman in space, despite being mocked for it. The courage that this character has and the self-sacrifice she commits for her friends is so admirable and this really struck a chord with me thanks to Kniebe’s wonderful portrayal – a young lady who I can see going further with her performing career, so listen out for that name folks!

The character of Lucas Lloyd was played by Joey Watson-Smith. Lucas is the best friend of Michael but later has to deal with coming second-best to Holly. As much and as hard as he tries, Lucas is not quite as up to scratch on technology as his best friend, but is still valued just as much. Watson-Smith is fantastic in this supporting role. Lucas’ vulnerability is quite often present played by this young man which I believe is very crucial to the character as not being as ‘geeky’ as his best friend does have the potential to put him in an unstable position and although, the show is run mainly on Michael and Holly’s story, Lucas’ is just as important in my eyes, therefore this was brilliantly played.

Eddie Arch is very much on the opposing team to the geeks and is played by the fabulous Thomas Hodge. Initially, Eddie starts out as the usual school bully but after finding out something potentially harmful about Holly, his nasty side comes out. This critical change in character was so on-point and even subtly done by Hodge which really made me despise him (the character, not the actor obviously!). It was such a fantastic portrayal that I can see this young actor being a sublime Bill Sikes in Oliver or even Javert in Les Miserables. I will stop making suggestions now because I am sure AVYT already have their next production planned.

It would take me a little while to write a paragraph about every cast member and because I am writing this in time constraints, I will not be doing this. However, I would like to give a mention to everyone in the cast. So, Gus Kerr, Darcy Power, Sahan Hiddalarachchi, Stuart Taylor, Kayley Rose Canfield, Amelia Bower, Leigh Batson and Alice Ashwell are all names to look out for in the future as every single actor gave an outstanding, heartwarming and thrilling performance in their own quirky ways. This show has so much fun and energy in it that you will definitely leave with a smile on your face. As soon as I got home I was straight on to finding a cast recording but it turns out that such a thing does not exist. Fancy it, AVYT?

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