So much going on this summer it’s been crazy. Back in July I went to see Dogfight at NWTAC (North West Theatre Arts Company) in Moston.Dogfight is set in 1963 against a backdrop that includes Beatlemania, the US civil rights movement, JF Kennedy and the Vietnam War. The story concentrates on 3 US marines and what they get up to on their last evening before being shipped across the world to Vietnam.
The characters are naïve, rough, inexperienced, young. They’re alive today and expect to stay that way. The night is all about having fun. They bet on who can ‘make it’ with the ugliest girl. They get tattoos, get drunk, get laid. Inevitably, not quite everything goes to plan but off they set the next day to meet their fate and broken hearts are left behind.
Music and lyrics were written by the same duo as The Greatest Showman but the similarities end there. This wasn’t a fluffy fancy but a story that reflects the reality of war and its impact on young lives.
I loved the production. The attention to detail was typical of all NTWAC’s performances. From the costumes, the lighting, the atmosphere, souvenir programmes to the fabulous vocals and dance routines. All excellent.
The American accents of the young performers were f…ing impressive (believe me, you had to be there). The musical numbers carried you through the emotions of the story and the dreadful sadness of the whole situation.
A few days later I learned that some of the cast would be leaving the company for various universities and performing arts establishments. All that talent going out into the big wide world. Damn! I want it to stay here in Moston. How dare they leave!
Prab Singh (MD along with Mark Beaumont) would laugh at me because that’s the point: they’re supposed move on to bigger things, it’s what the North West Stage School prepares them for. His dream is to see their dreams come true. So all I can say is “be like me”, make the most of it while they’re here.
It’s 10 years since NWTAC was formed and celebrations are in hand. Featuring hits from a decade of performances, the next concert in October promises to be more popular than ever so book early. In fact, sign up for the newsletter on the website so you never miss out.In addition to the stage school, the company delivers a range of professional productions and runs workshops and classes that go out to schools aka ‘Theatre in Education’. They also operate a hire service sending costumes and sets countrywide and support various activities across Manchester and beyond.
Located on Lightbowne Road in Moston the ‘hub’ includes a dance school (North West School of Dance) with classes for any age, from 3 years upwards, and on Saturdays a youth theatre (NWYT) for just a £1 a session.
I’m out of breath. There’s so much going on and summer’s not over yet.
Full details about North West Theatre Arts Company and all they have to offer can be found on their website here or follow them on Facebook. North West School 0f Dance have their own website, just click here for information.