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Reviewed: Miscast Encore at Sue Townsend Theatre

‘Miscasting’ is not a new show concept but one we rarely get to see locally. Performers tackle songs typically sung by characters of a different age, gender, or background in miscast performances. The twist gives a fresh and unexpected dimension to beloved musical numbers.

Williams Creatives have been bringing us miscast shows every year despite director Joshua Taylor-Williams vowing that Miscast All Inclusive 2022 would be their last production of the sort.


But back by popular demand, Miscast Encore delights with 30 hand-picked songs from modern favourites such as Heathers, In the Heights, and Six. There’s a definite theme presented through the chosen numbers; rollercoaster relationships, new beginnings, and the idea that the best post-breakup revenge is self-improvement.

Featuring both adults and children, it showcased an array of talent, energy, and passion that left me wanting to join in. The diverse selection of songs gave the powerful and dynamic tunes of Hamilton to the sassy and fun numbers from Legally Blonde. It was particularly impressive to see the children of the cast hold their own alongside the adult performers, demonstrating remarkable stage presence.

The show opened with Miscast All Inclusive’s final number: ‘Megamix’, On your Feet, which cleverly gave each ensemble member their own spotlight.


The production's highlights were the large ensemble numbers with lively and well-executed choreography arranged by choreographer Jade Afflick-Goodall with the help of dance captain Phoebe Harris. Performers brought their unique interpretations to some iconic pieces.

‘Omigod You Guys’ from Legally blonde doused the stage in pink with a whopping performance from all ensemble before revealing Taylor-Williams as none other than Elle Woods! His loveable performance left me rooting for him and pleased to see him back as Elle later on in the show with ‘So Much Better’. A perfect miscasting.


Taylor-Williams also shone in Chicago’s ‘Cell Block Tango’. In his element as Veronica, this was a stunning performance. Dave Jones, Sharon Brown, Emm Pearson, Afflick-Goodall and Sue Kyprianou gave assured performances and were joys to watch. Kudos to Pearson for her exceptional delivery in Hungarian.


Afflick-Goodall and Taylor-Williams kept giving with ‘Defying Gravity’ from Wicked as Glinda and Elphaba. The entire cast then mobbed the stage which is when the goosebumps set in. This was one of the most captivating numbers of the night. To much delight, a youth casting of Glinda and Elphaba took over with a tearjerking ‘For Good’, performed by Jenson Weston and Hollie Smith. In a heart-warming moment, Taylor-williams could be spotted in the wing keeping time for Smith during the more complex section of the song. This is what local community theatre is all about.

Show-stealer Weston was a standout performer throughout. His mature performances were entertaining, and it was a joy every time he was back to the stage – particularly for Hairspray’s ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’. Jacob Grage was also a highlight in this toe tapping number as well as ensemble members Harris, Cathy Robinson and Hattie Moore who were easy to spot giving it their all amongst the full stage. This was easily the slickest number of the show and it was clear the cast enjoyed every moment of it.


Hairspray returned with 'Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now’. Creatively directed and staged, three pairs of mothers and daughters were hilarious to watch in this age-swapped rendition where child actors played the grown-ups!

The most powerful numbers however came from In the Heights. Harris, Pearson, Afflick-Goodall, and Smith rapped the lyrics with 100% character and attitude. And Grage, Isla Singleton and Zuha Abbas gave show-stealing performances – I look forward to seeing much more from all three of them. Grage gives romantic lead energy, while Singleton commands the stage, and Abbas holds her own as an engaging and comedic actor.

Other mentions must go to Sharon Brown for her emotive performance as Shrek; the casting of Six numbers which were executed to professional level, Sarah Brown’s brilliant acting as Heathers' Veronica; the casting of the Heathers themselves – beautifully intimidating; belter Georgia birks; the soulful voice of Robinson; the beautiful harmonies of ‘Mamma Mia’; the characterful performances of Florence Dann; and Sienna Barnes’ Angelica of Hamilton.

The ensemble truly showcased the spirit of community theatre, emphasising inclusivity and providing a platform for individuals of all ages to shine. It was touching to witness such a collaborative effort on stage, where seasoned performers collaborated with younger talents.

If there are sound problems when you come to see Miscast Encore, please try your best to hear past them. Tech budgets are hard to come by for community theatre groups and Williams Creatives deserves endless support.


Dare I say – with apologies to Taylor-Williams and his future plans – we may have another encore on our hands.


See Miscast Encore at Sue Townsend Theatre from tonight, Thursday 18 til this Saturday 20.


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