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Review: Hurtwood Summer Concert 2021

The hills are alive with the sound of Hurtwood!

In spite of unseasonable June chills, some gloomy skies and an ironic plague of midges, the party is well and truly back on. What energy is emanating from the live Hurtwood stage once again! You can feel it... and hear it – even down in Ewhurst. We’ve all woken up. The talent, the voices, the music, the dance, the enthusiasm: it’s impossible not to be uplifted by the excitement and the fun that the kids are having. After their gruelling challenges during the last eighteen months, here is joyous reward and achievement.

Guided as ever by Hurtwood’s own Renaissance man, Doug, along with Nick and Lottie, and all the amazing skills of our Music, Media, Dance and Theatre departments, the show harnessed and facilitated the fabulous talents of our students. The result? A fiesta of rhythm, song and dance: a positive feast of collective youthful hope. We jumped from ballad and ballet to Motown and hip-hop, from single voices to the most stirring and charged massed choral work, from girl power to boy power with lots of ironic positions in between, and all with more little black dresses than one person could possibly wear in one lifetime. Huzzah!

Everything about the concert was big. From the casual festival welcome of Pimms, pizza and Annouska’s music, we moved down the steps to Hurtwood’s own little Glasto. Here the vast colourful flags and swathes of bunting drew us into the enormous stage, the backdrop of the oh-so-talented musicians and the main act: our kids. Everything became a gorgeous backdrop to their collective talents.

The subtle monochrome palette of black and white, punctuated at times by silver, sequins and sparkle established a mood of confident professional expertise. The occasional shots of colour, the parallel patterning of voices and dancers, Doug’s non-invasive, easy co-ordination of performances, Lottie's superb choreography, and the expert Musical Direction of Nick: all worked to highlight the sheer talent and energy of the students. They had so much fun that will for many last a long, long time. That in the end was the point, of course, and they shared their fun with us. They all made it look breathtakingly easy so that the hardest thing for us in the audience was packing up our marvellous folding chairs in the dark. They will be telling a story into the future. The evening highlighted so much talent that it would be impertinent to name even a few. So, thank you to all involved, for pure wonderful escapism and indulgence. We were lost in your music and forgot our crazy times. Happy days are here again.


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