Thursday, 29 November 2018

Photography: Storms and Fog

by Tony Hicks

On Wednesday, Storm Diana battered the South Coast, with winds reaching 47mph, following thick fog.

Review: '9 to 5'

by Martha Bell

 9 to 5 was the school musical put on at the Kings Theatre this year and it was absolutely brilliant. The actors were polished and the singing was perfect. Set in the 1980s, it is about three women who work in an office, who have a very tyrannical, male chauvinist boss. The main three actors gave  fantastic performances (Emma Watkins as Violet, Megan Fisher as Doralee and Sofia Callender as Judy). They get very sick and tired of his bullying and harassing behaviour; one night, having gone out for a drinks after work, they fantasise about different ways of getting rid of him in a very comic scene. Isaac Lee was hilarious as the horrible boss, Mr Graham and Libby Rhodes was both funny and sympathetic as his assistant, Ros. There were also fantastic supporting performances by Oliver Saint as Joe, Joe Brennan as Dick and Daniel Hill as Dwayne. Grace Taylor was memorable as Dolly Parton, the narrator, and Susannah Shlosberg stole every scene as the enthusiastically drunk Margaret.  

Women at that point were treated very differently from men. Men got more promotions and praise, whereas women were just workers and, to their boss, nothing more, just people to be exploited. Although the play is very funny, it covers serious issues, very relevant today with the Me Too movement which has shown appalling behaviour by powerful men even in the present day. 

Why Do Some Planets Have Rings? And Why Doesn't Earth?

by Douglas James

The four ‘giant planets’ of our solar system have a couple of things in common, and one of those things is that all of them have planetary rings. The most famous of these is Saturn, but Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune also have rings. But why? Why is it that some planets have rings and others don’t? I’m going to simplify it down for you all...

Well perhaps the most interesting thing about this, is that rings around planets form because of different reasons, and at different times. It used to be thought that Saturn’s rings had formed relatively recently, or at least to the size they are today. However, new research based on evidence picked up by the Cassini spacecraft suggests that Saturn’s rings are almost as old as the Solar System itself, but lots of the ice that forms them, only looks new because ice chunks are constantly colliding with one another - breaking apart and then forming themselves anew. Saturn’s rings were actually formed when many Pluto sized planets passed too far into Saturn’s gravity well and were pulled apart, and those fragments fell into orbit around Saturn, creating the beautiful rings that we can see even from Earth.

Now Jupiter is a different story. The New Horizons spacecraft’s data suggested that it’s rings were formed over a long period of time, mostly from meteorite strikes into Jupiter's moons. What exactly makes up the rings of Uranus and Neptune is still a mystery, as is how they were formed. It will be interesting to find out how similar their ring creations are to both each other, and the other ringed planets.

Dr Janina Ramirez: 'An Introduction to the Medieval Period'

by Lucy Smith

On 16th November, PGS was privileged to welcome the academic, BBC presenter, medievalist and cultural historian Dr Janina Ramirez. Having enjoyed Janina’s broadcasting for the greater part of a decade, seeing her speak at the 2017 Hay Festival of Literature was high on my agenda and her talk on Julian of Norwich did not disappoint. Ms Burden and I had the opportunity to speak to Janina afterwards over a book signing, and first broached the subject of a visit to PGS to give a talk.

Ms Smith meets Janina at the Hay Festival of Literature 2017

18 months after our first meeting, Janina arrived at PGS to speak to an audience of around 100 pupils and staff. The brief we had discussed beforehand was “A general introduction to the medieval period aimed at pupils studying English Literature, History, Art and PRS”- a broad remit perhaps, but, as Janina pointed out, the boundaries we now draw between discrete subjects and disciplines in a modern curriculum simply wouldn’t have existed in the medieval world.

Whilst some historical figures are universally recognisable to a contemporary audience….
Janina spoke about a whole cast of medieval characters, including Julian of Norwich, the subject of the 2017 talk at Hay and Janina’s book Julian of Norwich: A Very Brief History (2016). It is easy to see why Julian has captured imaginations for over 600 years. Her late 14 century work Revelations of Divine Love bears the honour of being the first book written by a woman in English, and contains some beautiful and beloved wisdom that is still treasured by many (indeed, as Janina pointed out, it is worth bearing in mind that “All will be well” in today’s turbulent times). Julian’s life too is a subject of much fascination: living at a time of enormous social, religious and political upheaval, against the back drop of the Black Death, and following a serious illness which led to a series of sixteen mystical revelations, Julian elected to become an anchoress in order to meditate on her experiences. She was given the last rites, gave up all worldly possessions and was bricked into the walls of St Julian’s Church in Norwich (from which she took her name), where she spent the remainder of her life- possibly as much as another four decades- contemplating her visions.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

PGS Triumphs in the Kids' Lit Quiz

by Eleanor Pritchard

On Tuesday, 20th November, four Year 8 pupils and four Year 7 pupils went to Seaford College in Sussex to compete in the Kid's Lit Quiz 2018. In the first round, Portsmouth Grammar 1 (Year 8) won with a total of 10/10, which put us in the lead! Round after round, Portsmouth Grammar 1 stayed in the lead, with Portsmouth Grammar 2 (Year 7) in close second. After 10 rounds, everyone was excited to find out who had won. At last it was time to see who had won; in third place was Westbourne House, in second place was Portsmouth Grammar 2 and in first place was Portsmouth Grammar 1! 

This means Portsmouth Grammar 1 are going to represent the South of England at the National Quiz in London on Tuesday 4th of December. The winner of this quiz will go to the international quiz in Singapore!

Thanks to Mrs Bell for organising and taking us on the trip, we all enjoyed it and would recommend it to any Year 7s and 8s to take part in future.

Fingers crossed for the 4th.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Review: a Performance by Sarah Connolly and Tenebrae

by Cordelia Hobbs

Receiving last minute tickets to hear world renowned choir Tenebrae perform at Wigmore Hall was a dream. Especially considering that they were performing my favourite choral piece, Herbert Howells’ ‘Take Him Earth For Cherishing’. The reason I love this piece so much is the compelling words but what makes it momentous is its motivation. Although the piece was commissioned for J.F. Kennedy’s funeral, Howells’ real stimulus was the sudden death of his own son, Michael who died whilst the family was on holiday by contracting polio aged nine, dying three days later. This was in 1935, and afterwards, Howells found he was unable to work for a period of time. The piece is filled with lush, uplifting and mysterious chords and harmony that endeavor to portray the link between paradise and Earth. Earth is personified and the piece goes through many emotional turns. The music gains some clarity in the fugal section beginning ‘once again’ and the most moving and majestic harmony is set to the words “Take, O take him, mighty leader,”  with the heart warming quirk of modulating back to the home key on the words “return again” making for a effulgent moment of word painting. Furthermore, Howells was intimately intertwined with the this poem and the poetry of Prudentius in general, writing in his diary in May of 1958, ‘Rain and Gloom. But the rain turned away with a sheer beauty of light. Prudentius’. When looking at the text, I can understand why:

Take him, earth, for cherishing,
to thy tender breast receive him.
Body of a man I bring thee,
noble even in its ruin.

Once was this a spirit’s dwelling,
by the breath of God created.
High the heart that here was beating,
Christ the prince of all its living.

Guard him well, the dead I give thee,
not unmindful of his creature
shall he ask it: he who made it
symbol of his mystery.

Comes the hour God hath appointed
to fulfil the hope of men,
then must thou, in very fashion,
what I give, return again.

Photography: Winter Skies and Winter Birds

by Tony Hicks

Poem: The Chicken

by Miranda Gent

Beady eye,
Half-hidden in the green of the long grass.
Scaled legs, talons. The curve of a claw.
Descendant of a dinosaur.
Skilful leap, graceful stance,
The ruffle of feathered wings
Beating the air,
Purpose-full steps,
Feet unfurling,
The soft padding that leaves 
foot prints 
Barely audible on the ground,
The suspended stillness, 
Ever-watching, inquisitive,
Without a sound

PGS Wildlife Club’s 50th Anniversary Meeting

by Jacqueline Tyldesley

We were excited to find out that Wildlife Club started on 5th November, 1968, meaning that this month marks its fiftieth anniversary. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we invited our former Head of Biology, Mr. Nik Knight, to come back and talk to us about how the club was formed and what happened over the 38 years when he was its leader and beyond. Seventeen pupils and seven staff attended the meeting and enjoyed a superb presentation and, of course, a birthday cake!

On 2nd March 2019, the Development Office, with help from Nik, is organising a reunion and is inviting OPs and current Wildlife Club members to attend. This will give much opportunity for reminiscence! Many of our former members have gone on to have careers in conservation or other aspects of Biology and still more are involved in voluntary activities with wildlife, so we look forward to hearing from them all.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

The Power of the Pen

by Laura Mayes

The pen writes words and words can mean more than one thing, that is there very power. And where do these words flow from? The answer is simple, from the pen.

Words have the power to persuade, influence, dry tears, and forge smiles. Words can heal emotional wounds and eliminate fears. Intelligent words can make you rich, wealthy, and happy.

But even if we were to ignore these, arguably, poetic reasons science has proven that writing can help us. It turns out that writing has significant emotional benefits. According to different studies expressive writing can show long-term effects in improving your mood (Pennebaker et al, 1988; Páez et al, 1999), your psychological well-being (Park & Blumberg, 2002), it can reduce depressive symptoms (Lepore, 1997) and cause a decrease in post-traumatic stress disorder (Schoutrop et al, 1997, 2002; Sloan & Marx, 2004a).

People have been writing for thousands of years, the earliest historical record of a pen dates back to the 10th century BC (in Egypt) and yet before this invention people were writing on walls and in caves. The oldest discovered form of coherent writing is from the protoliterate period (which existed from the protohistoric 4th and 3rd millennia BC to the Early Bronze Age). We’ve always found ways to transfer our thoughts onto surfaces so that they can be cemented in time. Perhaps because we’ve always known, but not necessarily understood, that words are powerful. This is why pens are equally important - because they are the connection between our thoughts and our actions.

All respected well-known philosophers, writers, doctors and poets were guided by the pen. Their names still live today, even if they themselves are dead, because of their findings and writings. If these people had not chosen the pen, their respect in society would have gone down with them in their graves, as if they had never existed.

A Tribute to The Dandy

by Nicholas Lemieux

Sadly, it is a true fact that in this age of ever-evolving digital technology, children’s paper comics are almost a thing of the past, especially in Britain. In decades long past, comics like Topper, Nutty, Sparky and countless others used to regularly fill the stands of newsagents. Now, almost every single one of these comics have disappeared, the prime exceptions being the still-classic Beano and the fairly recent Phoenix, the latter of which does inspire some hope in the future for paper comics, serving as a throwback to the days long past. Now the stands are occupied with garish magazines geared towards an especially young audience, filled with extended adverts for the latest pop culture trend, tacky plastic free gifts messily taped to the front cover, and most devastating at all, not a single original comic strip in sight. There used to be a time when comics were made not just with kids in mind but grown-ups too, bringing everyone, friends and family together through laughter. As such, it’s been a real disappointment watching the deterioration of the traditional comics market. The specific reason as to why I am writing this article is because next month, on December 4th, marks the 81st anniversary of The Dandy, one of Britain’s longest-running children’s comic, and it also being 6 years since the comic ended.

Amidst topical conversation, The Dandy has been heavily overshadowed by its partner comic The Beano in terms of British pop culture and comic icons. Indeed, the character line-up in The Beano is much more iconic, with a memorable character roster of Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx, Roger the Dodger, and the Bash Street Kids. I myself collected The Beano every week for about 5 years and I still remember it fondly. However, I can also remember younger me becoming slightly bored with The Beano after a couple of years as I found myself wanting the comic to try something more creative and to expand with new characters and strips who weren’t the same naughty, mischievous children. Back then, The Dandy was still publishing every week and after a while I started to become more drawn by the much wider roster of The Dandy and its particular sense of humour, bizarre as it could sometimes be. I recall that at this point Harry Hill had become the comic’s mascot, starring in his own weekly two-page comic strip, which should perhaps give you something of an idea of the comic’s quirky sense of humour. Admittedly, his strips were a bit too cheesy for my liking (even if The Harry Hill Movie, featuring his dying hamster, Matt Lucas as his evil twin brother and a surprisingly risqué joke about nuns, remains a cinematic masterpiece), but the other strips featured inside definitely caught my attention and gave me plenty of laughs along the way.

Poem: A Winter Morning

by Monica Ghosh and Evie Abrams-Wilson

The cold wisp air brushing against your skin,
A winter morning is ready to begin...

Passing the trees in the icy-cold air,
There's no sign of the leaves that used to be there.

The sun which was there, no longer gleamed,
Santa Claus coming down the chimney - the little ones dreamed.

Summer has gone, no blossom in sight,
The ground anticipating a layer of white.

Children excited, playing in the snow,
Their cheeks all rosy with the cold winter glow.

Christmas trees around the city, such a pretty sight,
You can hear the church bells ringing, it's just past midnight.

Presents under the tall Christmas tree,
Young children’s faces filled with glee.

Snowball fights are always fun - especially when you win,
Did you know, that the winter mornings are ready to begin..?

We Need to Talk About Fashion.

by Sophie Mitchell

Victoria Secret recently held their multi-million-dollar fashion show on November 8th, and it’s fair to say it was very well attended. Size 0 models strut up and down a catwalk, parading around in what can only be described as very little clothing – and its captivating, at least for some. Yet for many, there is a huge issue. An issue that re-occurs every year, in every form of fashion, in every company. Diversity.

Nowhere during the show were there any trans models or models above a (US) size 2 and people are not happy, me for one. Plus-size models are becoming more and more common, and many of them spread the message of body positivity. After a summer of Love Island, a show where it is implied you must be a (UK) size 8, have 4 foot legs and a Kylie Jenner-esque pout, it’s no wonder people feel unfairly represented.

Victoria’s Secret praise themselves for championing diversity by including models of different ethnicities, yet for many, this isn’t enough. The brand has frankly archaic views on plus-sized women, transgender women, and even the ‘middle-sized’ women. They have recently come under fire from the public after it was released that during an interview with Vogue, when questioned the CEO Ed Razek basically said that trans and plus-sized models didn’t fit the company’s image. Defending his "brand's point of view". Razek said that while they had "considered" putting plus-size and transgender models in the show, they hadn't because "we market who we sell to, and we don't market to the whole world". But, it was when questioned as to why Victoria's Secret doesn't stock bra sizes above 40DDD, that Razek really summed up the brand's opinion. “It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy." Going on to defend his decision Razek said, "we attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t."

In a time when the likes of Tess Holliday and Ashley Graham have graced the covers of Cosmopolitan and Vogue. And Giuliana Farfalla and Valentina Sampaio made history with their Playboy and Vogue covers, you would think that Victoria's Secret would want to move with the times. You would think that someone in their company has some sort of business acumen; increasing body diversity in the show would surely push sales, and mean more profit for the company. When a company has the ability to cater for people other than a size 0, it should be embraced, not pushed to the back of some naïve CEO’s mind.

Poem: Vision of a Child

by Lottie Allen

Blank face of winter staring;
Steel eyes and lips drawn thin.
Release my spirit unto spring
Hear my words drowned within.

Black shroud city hums to dawn
Again, like clockwork I see thee:
Vision of a child bestowed upon
My guilty conscience and nobody.

Worlds unfold in tender mind
Her softness warped and wild.
Though letters cannot reach her,
I reminisce that child.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Should Medicinal Cannabis be Legalised?

by Emily Stone

The term ‘medicinal cannabis’ refers to any cannabis based medicine used to relieve symptoms. Previously in the UK, it was only possible to get a prescription for medicinal cannabis for children with rare and severe forms of epilepsy, and adults with vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy. Even in those cases it would only be considered when other treatments weren’t suitable or had not helped previously. However that has now changed. New laws implemented by Sajid Javid on the 1st November has recategorised cannabis-derived medical products in order to place them in schedule 2 of the 2001 Misuse of Drugs Regulations, allowing clinicians to prescribe them. This change in regulations is a result of a series of high-profile cases involving children with severe epilepsy, who had been denied access to cannabis oil despite the calming effect it had on seizures.

            The benefits of medicinal cannabis have been extensively researched and written about. There are many diseases and conditions that can benefit from the use of medicinal cannabis. Multiple sclerosis is a lifelong condition that affects the brain and/ or spinal cord. It can cause serious disabilities. Cannabis in this case has been found to be safe and effective as a palliative treatment. There is even further promising research being carried out currently into whether cannabis may have a  curative effect by promoting the repair of the myelin sheath. Furthermore, recent clinical trials looking at the effect of cannabis on Crohn’s disease has found that 50% of Crohn’s patients achieved complete remission and over 90% achieved substantial improvement. There is conclusive evidence in support of the use of cannabis in the treatment of Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease.

Currently there are three main cannabis containing treatments available for prescription or undergoing licensing. One of them, Epidiolex, is a purified liquid containing CBD (cannabidiol)- the chemical substance found in cannabis that has medicinal benefits. It does not contain any THC (the main mind-altering ingredient found in the cannabis plant), and so drug induced highs are not possible from the abuse of this drug. Epidiolex is not yet licensed in the UK, however, at the moment, it is undergoing strict quality and safety tests for licensing, as well as assessing the medical benefits and cost-effectiveness of the drug. It has been approved by the FDA to treat two rare forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and is currently sold in the US.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Photography: Portsmouth Marks the Centenary of the Armistice

by Tony Hicks

Last night, Portsmouth Guildhall was illuminated to remember those from the city and from across the world who gave their lives in the First World War. Today marks the centenary of the Armistice that ended that war at 11 am on the 11th November. 

Friday, 9 November 2018

Astrophotography: Night Sky above the Downs

by Benedict Blythe

Photo specs:
Camera: Canon 750d
lens: Canon 18-55mm kit lens + UV filter
ISO: Auto (Around 800)
Aperture: 3.5
Shutter speed/ exposure time: 20 seconds

Was Trump Correct to Call the Midterms a ‘Tremendous Success?’

by Alex Gibson

(Wiki Commons)
After the midterm elections on Tuesday, President Donald Trump, in his usual vein, tweeted that the outcome was a ‘Tremendous Success! Thank you to all!’ Instantly, as is always the case, he was met with backlash, with the majority of people questioning this statement - he had lost the House of Representatives after all. However, after examining the results, is he correct? Well, to an extent,  yes.

I say ‘to an extent’ because he obviously lost his majority in the House of Representatives, with the Democrats now having a majority of 28, at the time of writing (there are still 15 seats to be announced). This will of course lead to issues for Donald Trump and, although the likelihood of articles of impeachment being submitted are very low, the Democrats now have full access to the investigative powers of House committees by having majorities in these bodies, and so a higher level of scrutiny can take place. This could lead to further enquiries into any relations or dealings with Russia building up to the 2016 election or the president’s tax returns being released. If anything of interest is found here, naturally Trump may come under further pressure. I would make the argument that this will be be beneficial, even if just for the sake of clarity and closure. It is a fair assessment, in my view at least, to say that parts of the Trump administration are shrouded in secrecy.

However, there are reasons as to why Trump could come out of this ‘defeat’ very well. Firstly, the Democrats claimed that there would be a ‘blue wave’ and any Trump support would be decimated in this midterm vote. If I’m being honest there was more of ‘blue puddle.’ I say this because it was predicted that Trump would lose the House and maintain control of the Senate (the surprising aspect of all of this is that there were no major surprises in terms of the result). At the time of writing the Republicans have lost 28 seats, this is fewer than in the first terms of the Clinton and Obama tenures. So it is possible to say that this is no humiliating defeat for Trump and the victory for the Democrats is nowhere near as significant as some were perhaps hoping for. As a result, Trump could be seen as somewhat successful.

Poem: Paper Chains

by Amy Mitchell

I am a paper man, bound by paper chains.
We scream silently, numbers in a game,
Our plight dulled to invisible bloodstains.
Glory, they say. No dancing bones, no shame

As friends become numbers. We ravage them,
Taunting; haunting. Choose feathers over lies.
But we are nothing now, just an emblem,
A postcard, yellow, though still she cries.

He stands and reveres a life unlived:
I writhe, suffocating, in no-man’s dust.
My remains are sold, carved by care contrived
A violent struggle, a paper head unjust.

My life a sentence on an unread page,
As a lady lays a rose on a fresh grave.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Photography: Where Will Today Take You?

by Nicola Watson

An Ode to Materials Science and Engineering

by Katie O'Flaherty

The Secret Story of Stuff: Materials of the Modern Age


This is the latest of my forays into the world of materials science and engineering. Starting with my interest in a career improving chemicals and creating new ones, I began my search for a degree which would help me fulfil my want to maintain contact with the breadth of the sciences, while also being able to be up close and personal with the most fundamental building blocks of substances. A number of google searches later, and I stumbled across a new field; materials science. A few taps on the keyboard later, and I was immersed in video upon video of the most fantastic, unimaginable materials, and plethora of passionately-written articles on the wonders of some new product of a lab. Thus my new way of procrastinating was born.

So back to the first, still unexplained, sentence. On the surface, it seems to be a run of the mill documentary, shown by the BBC last week, and left to live out its life on iPlayer without a second thought. To me, however, it helped to show a world under the surface of our day to day life; a world of tiny yet monumental revolutions in the way the simplest tasks are performed. If you have any interest in fashion, technology, security, medicine, the environment, fire prevention, or stopping a bullet, then this documentary is well worth the watch. Designer and engineer Zoe Laughlin presents cutting edge science in an easily understandable manner, her obvious excitement at the wonders of her field never far, and all too infectious.

To pick out one of myriad fields shown which is being fundamentally changed by the research done into materials, ‘five dimensional’ glass is being used to store more data than imaginable on a tiny disc. Using a laser, nanoscale dots are inscribed in the glass, with each dot able to have up to 256 variations of shape and variation, allowing them to contain up to 8 bits of data each. So far, scientists have been able inscribe 200 layers of dots on top of each other on a single disk half a centimeter thick. Thus, each disk is able to contain up to 5 trillion dots. A normal CD can hold up to 128GBs of data. A CD-sized glass disk can hold up to 360TB. That’s nearly 3000 times the data storage, for the same size, with both simply using a laser to leave marks for another laser to read. Not only this, but the glass discs are predicted to be able to survive the lifetime of the universe without degrading, making them impenetrable fortresses of data storage.

Photography: The Old Town Walls Revealed

by Tony Hicks

It looks like they have uncovered the old town walls dating back to the 17th/18th century somewhere between the town bastion and east bastion.

Photography: There Have Been Some Amazing Sunsets This Last Week or So

by Tony Hicks

Review: Come from Away

by Daniel Hill

On the 11th September 2001 the world changed forever. Come From Away tells the true story of what happened that day, from the perspective of the residents of Gander, Newfoundland. 38 planes landed with almost 7000 people being left stranded on the island off the coast of Canada. The show is written (Book, Lyrics and Music.) by David Hein and Irene Sankoff and it is directed by Christopher Ashley.

The musical portrays the reaction of the population of Gander and the 6579 passengers when they land in Newfoundland. We see the passengers unaware of what happened in New York and the camaraderie of the inhabitants who unite in order to provide the visitors a home for what turned out to be for five days. The friendliness of Newfoundland’s population is depicted clearly in the musical as we see the sheer sadness as people get to leave the island. The musical also shows the friendships created in this time of both community and devastation felt around the world. As the musical says “Tonight we honor what was lost, but we also commemorate what we found.” This quote encapsulates what happened over the five days and then the ten-year anniversary of 9/11.

The staging of the show was particularly gripping. The use of the chairs in order to create the setting often seemed simplistic yet struck the audience as very effective. With the direction/musical staging the musical seemed quite intimate and moving throughout with the unity coming across clearly to the audience. Moments which incorporated the lighting also provided another element to the piece. The integration of the band within the piece through some of the number further established the sense of community that the play communicated.

The 12-man cast was extremely strong with the power of voices often making it appear that there were more than 12 people on stage. It would be wrong not to mention Jenn Colella individually as she stole the show. In the role of Beverly Bass, the song “Me and the Sky.” was both beautiful and powerful. The song tells the story of Beverly Bass’s journey as a pilot up until the 9th of September 2001 and she delivers it with conviction and excitement as well as sorrow. In her other role, she is also good, although it is mainly her solo that allows her to steal the show. The rest of the cast were also good and I thought that Joel Hatch also deserved a mention in the role of the mayor as he guides the audience through the true story.

I had never seen a show that received a standing ovation as soon as the blackout came until Come From Away. Whether this was due to story, music, the fact it was true, the connection with New York, the talent on display or a combination of all of this I think it was definitely deserved. With this musical transferring to the West End in 2019 I would highly recommend this for anyone.