Splinters deliver a Happy Day
I've never been to a musical and the only recollection of Happy Days was the catchy theme tune, from childhood Friday evenings on Channel 4 (oh, and Arnold's, thanks to that Weezer video) but with the show finishing four years before my arrival into the world it doesn't hold much relevance for me.
I have been to an opera before but actors using song and dance to tell a tale confused the hell out of me and I'm a fan of the 'concept album'.
Happy Days the musical was a good introduction to the art form where jazz hands are celebrated and over the top expressionism is encouraged rather than frowned upon as it is delivered far classier than a Miley Cyrus award show performance.
Outside it might have been a bleak autumn evening in Sheffield but for a couple of hours we were transported to fifties Americana as Splinters Theatre Group took over the ornate University Drama Studio (formally a church) for the week.
Delivering a slick performance based around the cult classic where the Fonz used his leather jacket and cool charisma to save his local hangout, Arnold's, whilst being an absolute player with the chicks, who were decked-out in brightly coloured poodle skirts and beaming a smile throughout the performance.
There was singing and dance, I expected that, otherwise it wouldn't have been a musical. The songs were uplifting but cried out for audience participation, that only happened on the closing number, even then it was a typical Sheffield crowd response, reserved as always, the acting was sharp, the accents believable and the dancing was faultless, you wouldn't have been disappointed if you'd paid West End prices, but like I said, I'm no expert and did enjoy it. It was a professional performance from these 'am-drams' and great Friday night entertainment.
I wouldn't claim to be a musical convert, it isn't something I'd spend my nights indulging in but if the opportunity arose again I'd definitely consider it.
Words: Matt Pinder
University Drama Studio