HONK! is a fairy tale musical based on Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale, The Ugly Duckling.
This enchanting musical penned by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe contained all the ingredients for an entertaining night out of comedy, wit and a memorable score.
Adam Hepkin’s direction, staging and a hint of Busby Berkley choreography, brought to life this production at Bexhill High’s The Venue, which was very cleverly transformed into theatre-in-the-round.
An amazingly talented cast constantly surprised us with scene after scene of credible acting, glorious singing and well-choreographed production numbers. Drake played by Chris Allchin introduced us entertainingly to A Poultry Tale followed by Yasmine-Nadia Sebbah as Ida in an impeccable rendition of The Joys of Motherhood and Different (unbelievably, this was the same versatile actress and singer who excelled as Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd).
The emergence of the ducklings from their eggs was hilarious, and the arrival of Ugly was eagerly anticipated. Sam Clark was totally believable in this lead part, interacting so well with all the different characters.
Darragh Hand’s performance as The Cat transcended over the scenes into a lovable, entertainingly camp rogue, especially in You Can Play with Your Food. The way he used his hands was a joy to see. Kelcie Black as Queenie and Georgia Stait as Lowbutt brilliantly added eccentric humour to their scene.
The Goose Squad led by Greylag & Dot played respectively by Henry Robertson and Amy Izzard in We’re Off On A Wild Goose Chase was so well staged and included goose steps, a Tiller routine and a human aeroplane!
Another big production number led by Luke Willard and Rachelle Diedericks as the Bullfrogs was so entertaining . We lost count of how many frogs were in the climax of the number. All the supporting characters without exception were superbly played.
Special mention must go to accompanist, Daniel Goodger, wardrobe supervisor, Vicki Clare and all the crew involved. The total effect of this memorable production including strobe lighting, and UV lighting in the magical snow scene, gave us a real feel-good factor. The whole audience was smiling all the way through and the spontaneous applause and standing ovation at the end were very well deserved.
All credit goes to Adam Hepkin for his vision, his professionalism, his attention to detail, and his obvious rapport with all the cast.
Bexhill High is certainly lucky to have this on-site facility together with a production team that does it justice.
TONY AND MAGGIE MANSI