‘Songs for a New World’ reviewed by Aaliyah Buchanan


On the 22nd March I went to go and see ‘Songs for a New World’ at the YMCA Theatre in Cardiff. The musical, which was originally written by Jason Robert Brown, is about one moment in time and seizing that one moment and taking a stand. All of these key ideas were magically incorporated in this new version of the musical which was directed by Owain Huw. I think it is important to mention that he had little experience before directing this musical and yet what a spectacular first production it was!

Something that really impressed me throughout this entire performance was the way the cast and crew used the stage to tell a story, with very limited resources. The décor was very minimalistic, yet intriguing and I knew what kind of musical I was about to watch. The sound used throughout the performance, pre-recorded and live, were absolutely amazing! I would like to congratulate all members of the band that brought the musical numbers to life, after many rehearsals I expect, each and every song was played with precision and really showed each of their talents to the max.

With music comes choreography and what an impressive number of dance moves there were. Even though this famous production was being brought to a small stage, the dance moves were big and really brought each musical number to life. But the one song that really made me laugh and I enjoyed the most was “Surabaya-Santa” performed by Sarah Bulmer. Such simple choreography yet this performance made the whole production feel bigger than it really was. Saying that all of the big group performances were well rehearsed and amazing! Each of their talents were not only shown through their singing and acting, but their dancing too.

The most important thing to mention about this show was the amazing cast that really took my breath away with their amazing performances. All eight of them dazzled the audience with their undeniably beautiful voices in their individual performances and group performances. Not only did they each sing perfectly but their wonderful acting should also be mentioned. In a few musical numbers, cast members had the audience captivated and completely silent as the story within the songs unravelled. They had me smiling, laughing and cheering throughout the whole musical and I would like to congratulate all eight of them and wish them luck with their next two performances! Well done Emily Broad, Ashely Rogers, Esther Morris, Andy Morgan, Sarah Bulmer, Caspar Jayasekera, Katie Dougan and James Aitken.

I would like to thank the Act One Drama Society for inviting me to watch and review this performance, and wish them nothing but success in future productions.

If you would like to see this production yourself on one of their last two nights of performing follow the link below.