Review: Peak Youth shines in Half a Sixpence at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre

Half A Sixpence, presented by Peak Youth, at Chesterfield's Pomegranate Theatre
Half A Sixpence, presented by Peak Youth, at Chesterfield's Pomegranate Theatre

Young people can always be counted on to bring charm, energy and a new dimension to an old musical.

Peak Youth’s production of Half A Sixpence at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate this week is full of zing, from the skilfully sung chorus numbers to the beautifully choreographed dance routines.

Sean Fagan is the shining star of the show, rising to the mammoth challenge of playing the likeable Kipps. He brings Cockney-esque charisma and a great singing voice to numbers such as She’s Too Far Above Me and If The Rain’s Got To Fall in his admirable debut as leading man.

His opposite number Melissa Shaw gives Kipps’ childhood sweetheart Ann a feisty, volatile personality which is balanced by controlled sweet singing in her solo I Know What I Am.

Kipps’ upper-crust girlfriend Helen Walsingham is played with flair by Darcy Thorpe whose duet with Aimee Sherlock, playing Mrs Bolling, is a highlight of the show.

Khai Jackson adds humour in his role as the playwright Chitterlow who gets into a couple of scrapes along the way but comes good in the end.

Equally humorous is the snobby Mrs Walsingham, whose strident voice and overbearing character is projected well by Jess Hall.

The shop owner where Kipps serves his apprenticeship is female rather than the traditional male so fellow performers addressing Georgia Ewington as Mr Shalford does sound a little strange but at least it makes the show unique to Peak Youth.

Half A Sixpence is produced by Mike Spriggs, with musical direction by Delph Rchards and choreography by Kaye Gilbert.

Running at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre until Wednesday June 3, this production is a toe-tapping triumph - not ‘arf!