Lisburn’s award winning youth company Fusion Theatre took to the stage this week for their latest production of the musical Chess.
Written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus from ABBA, Chess tells the story of a politically driven Cold War era chess tournament between Soviet champ Anatoly and his American nemesis Freddie.
As the pair go head to head on the board, there are many manoeuvres going on behind the scenes and of course no musical would be complete without romance and tragedy thrown in as well.
Chess is a challenging musical to stage but once again Fusion pulled it off with a flair and skill for which they have become well known.
The young cast dazzled on stage with professional performances that far outweigh their age and experience.
The principals gave strong performances throughout and particularly notable was Rory Jeffers emotionally charged ’Pity the Child’ and the moving duet by Caroline Naugton and Abbie Watson as Florence and Svetlana who sang ‘I Know Him So Well’, a song made famous by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson in the 80s.
Special mention must also go to Evan Keating as the Aribter and Jordan Kelly as the scheming Molokov.
However, the stand out performance of the night was undoubtedly by 19 year old Ethan Haddock who stepped into the shoes of the conflicted Russian chess champion Anatoly.
He was captivating in the role and his performance of the iconic song Anthem was spellbinding.
With a fantastic supporting chorus, a simple set and stylised choreography, this production of Chess, directed once again by Ian Milford, was everything you could want from a piece of musical theatre.
The cast certainly deserved the standing ovation they received on opening night and no doubt there will be more to come.
The show runs at the Island Hall in Lisburn until Saturday March 2 and tickets are on sale from the Box Office and online at www.laganvalleyisland.co.uk.