Castle School and Friends at the Brewhouse is the review I anticipate each year, and Queen of Diamonds did not disappoint. All of the children shone (though the boys, so often out-numbered by girls in shows, were the jewels in the crown in every performance).

An electrifying demonstration of free-running from The Escape Team preceded the energy of dancing through the decades from Castle Years 7 & 8 dance group, ably matched later by year 9’s futuristic choreography. Castle’s drama students acted well but sadly there was a lack of volume (the only minor criticism of the night and worse than previous years. I presume amplification is an additional cost but lack of it is so detrimental to the hard work by pupils, teachers and parents.) However the VW camper van was an inspired touch and a young man stole the show with his 30 seconds of mimicking – let’s say – some of the 60s’ psychedelic moments.

Let’s Rock was pure ‘at the hop’ nostalgia, and Bishops Hull Primary’s Olympics sketch was one of those feel-good moments this show never fails to deliver. Somerset College carried off the characterisation, singing and tap dancing from Me & My Girl, and Churchstanton Primary encouraged enthusiastic audience participation. Clever narrative and confident musicianship and acting by Castle’s year 10 drama group gave us a humorous take on how Philip and Elizabeth could have communicated, and St George’s Catholic Primary exuded sheer joy from the first bars of Singing in the Rain through to Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling.

With each piece ably linked by a confident Queen Elizabeth and 3 elegant dancers from Somerset College, Castle School and Friends are to be congratulated on once again providing an opportunity for aspirant performers to develop their talents, or at the very least for pupils to experience the process of creating, rehearsing and committing to the hard work that goes into such a polished production.