The most striking aspect of Giggleswick Junior School’s Year 3 to 6 production: Ye-Ha! was how engaging and captivating a performance it was. The detailed and intricate set immediately transported the audience back to the Wild West, and the brilliant performances of those involved meant one was easily able to suspend one’s disbelief for the entire show. This production captured the freedom and spirit of life in a simpler time but also pointed to the dangers and tensions that arise in a lawless society. A particular highlight was the final showdown between a mysterious, masked figure and the town’s double-crossing Mayor Tex Truman; you could cut the tension with a knife as a classic Mexican standoff played out.
Doing their best to retain order in Splodge City is the newly-elected Sherriff and reluctant hero of the play: Wilbur Hubbard, played sensitively by Martha Lloyd, who had the difficult task of singing the show’s opening song on her own. Joining Wilbur on an epic quest to rid the town of wrongdoers is Billy-Jo Brisket, a wandering vigilante who does not believe being a girl should stop her from doing good. This part was undertaken enthusiastically by Lily Truscott who was always on hand to swoop in to save the day. Together, the two seemed unstoppable and these young actors illustrated with ease a real sense of comradery and trust in one another. Several supporting roles also stood out during the performance, including the dastardly pair Howling Mad Dog McNut and Bronco Bill (played menacingly by Max Scholey and Georgia Lewis respectively), the protective and feisty Ma Hubbard (Elodie Martin’s convincing accent was impressively sustained throughout), and Rafferty Bannister’s Chip Checker was comforting as the show’s narrator and resident barman.
The real key to this performance’s success however was the exceptional teamwork from every single ensemble member – it was often easy to forget that some of them were only in Year 3! The complex choreography was performed expertly, as were the tricky musical numbers, and every single participant seemed to be having a fantastic time onstage. This is always what wins over an audience in the end; the cast’s sense of fun became infectious, sweeping the audience off their feet to a Little Old Town in the Wild Wild West. Everyone will be clapping along by the end of this show, and there may be several audience members wanting to join in the Barn Dance that takes place during the final number.
If you find yourself wanting to escape the hardships of modern life, let Ye-Ha! and Giggleswick Junior School take you back to a far simpler and more care-free way of living.