HONK! 2011

Well. CSYT have done it again!!. What a super performance.

(National Operatic & Dramatic Association)



The Reviews


Well. CSYT have done it again!!. What a super performance.

This was the first time I have seen HONK although I have know about it for some time. It is the story of that famous Hans Christian Anderson tale of The Ugly Duckling and was presented with verve, vigour and enthusiasm.

A couple of technical issues with the sound did not detract from this excellent performance.

Glen Cavers as Ugly was exceptional and what a voice. Glen has emerged from his shell from helping back stage to being in the limelight and what a find he has turned out to be. Leona Evans who played Ida (Ugly’s mum) has been with this youth society for a couple of years now and her excellent singing and acting skills complemented her performance along side Glen.

Adam Pool was suitably nasty as Cat with the right amount of evil intent attempting to make a meal of Ugly. His scene with Queenie (Hannah Cumming), who also doubled up as Maureen, was very well done and Maureen’s portrayal as the sexy feline was excellent. The remainder of the characters who Ugly meets on his travels after becoming lost in his efforts to get back home were all super. With Greylag (Darren Bell) very good in his military portrayal of the squadron leader of the geese. I must also make mention of Nicky Henderson who played the Bullfrog. His comic timing and patter gave everybody a good reason for a good old belly laugh.

I could not fault this production and it was evident that everybody who appeared on stage from the little ones who played the fish and the froglets to the leading principals were all enjoying themselves as was the audience.

Well done Centre Stage for a superb performance once again.


Based on Hans Christian Anderson’s Ugly Duckling, Honk! was not a fluffy cuddly children’s show. Although the younger audience loved it, adults quickly tuned into the humour and underlining story of tolerance and the message that it’s alright to be different.

It’s a challenge for any group to deviate from the well-known musicals, especially when the audience doesn’t know any of the songs or has not seen the film.

Honk! is a show which depends heavily, and effectively, on the audience’s imagination and the company wowed the audience from start to finish.

Glen Cavers as poor Ugly brilliantly characterised his role, perfectly capturing the emotion. Leona Evans, as his mum, gave a heart-warming performance with her usual superb singing. Daniel Scott as Drake, Ida’s husband, introduced the story convincingly and played alongside her well.

Hannah Cumming as Maureen, Ida’s friend, showed off her fine character acting and also played Queenie, the slinky cat, alongside Adam Pool, the dastardly cat, who was ever present as the villain looking to make a meal of Ugly.

Honk! relies on the principal actors to tell the story and, considering the ages ranged from eight to 20, the cast showed great maturity.

Beth Smith was delightful as Lowbutt, while Henry Jeffrey as Her Grace dressed in oriental costume added his tongue-in-cheek humour.

Darren Bell as Greylag and Bryony Graham as Dot in the Wild Goosechase led an RAF squadron of geese to a big march dance routine so well.

Nicky Henderson’s bullfrog delivered quick-fire jokes and the scene built to a big dance number with his chorus of frogs for the hymn to inner beauty Warts and All.

The younger cast members were enchanting, humorous and showed great enthusiasm playing fish, ducklings and frogs.

Centre Stage give their all and Andersen’s message of tolerance comes through clear and strong. Honk! was packed with wit, energy and admirable moral purpose. The choreography was energetic and appropriate and, given their youth, the actors executed it well. The costume team did an amazing job.

The company sang to backing tracks and musical director Helen Teasdale clearly built on their talents to coach them to a high standard.

The stage was transformed into a picture-framed farmyard with pond, island and tree and the stage cloths were painted for the show by the scenic team.

Director Judith Johnson scored some real directorial coups, including a shimmering underwater sequence, a blizzard and a hilarious Busby Berkeley pastiche.