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Review: Suffolk Young People's Theatre production of The Lightning Thief at Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal



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Rob Wright reviews 'The Lightning Thief – The Percy Jackson Musical’, which is on at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, until Saturday, August 6.

After a two-year enforced break, the Suffolk Young People's Theatre (SYPT) returned in dramatic form with a stunning production of this complex story adapted from Rick Riordan’s best-selling book.

The performance on Thursday was a special family night to honour and celebrate the late Daphne Dyer, co-founder and honorary president who sadly passed away in March 2022. Daphne and her late husband Ray formed SYPT in 1979 and the full house formed a fitting tribute.

Each year since 1979 a group of youngsters aged 14-20 years attend a summer school where they are challenged to develop a production worthy of public performance at this theatre. With only 10 days of rehearsals, the results for this and previous shows have always been incredible.

Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal
Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal

This action-packed mythical adventure is full of exciting choreography, great singing and acting and a live band thrown in. The lighting and other visual effects are well thought out.

Scene changes are slick without interruption to the fast flow of the show. The large screen at the back of the stage provided pictures ranging from a still woodland scene to moving images of the sea and even an inferno.

The nine-female cast chopped and changed roles, giving the impression there were many more.

Megan Warnock was a pure natural as Percy, and when coupled with Phoebe Dunsdon (Annabeth) and Ashley Bell (Grover) the trio were magnificent to watch.

Excellently performed piece of theatre by a highly-talented group of young people who clearly enjoyed what they were doing.