A new musical theatre production was born last weekend, spectacularly showcasing creative talent on the Island.

Behind The Curtain was written by Hannah Brear, director of the Medina Community Choir, and the choir provided the chorus to a story that amid humour and drama had a hard-hitting message.

Created from a selection of musical theatre's rousing, happy and most poignant numbers, the lead performers were also plucked from the body of the 100-plus strong choir.

For some it was their first acting role. It was performed with skill that rivalled far greater venues than the Jenny Kerry Performing Arts Centre at Ryde School.

Isle of Wight County Press: Ellie Warne as Laura Brunetti and (behind) and Eleanor Brear (foreground) as Toni Townsend.Ellie Warne as Laura Brunetti and (behind) and Eleanor Brear (foreground) as Toni Townsend. (Image: Roz Whistance)

Isle of Wight County Press: Ellie Warne as Laura Brunetti in hospital bed. Ellie Warne as Laura Brunetti in hospital bed. (Image: Roz Whistance)

It is the story of a successful travelling chorus troupe, led by a wheeler-dealer impresario Bruno Brunetti, played as if to the manor born by Paul Smith, whose daughters Laura and Eva, (Ellie Warne and Tilly Grimshaw) and ex-wife Laurène (Helen Lambert) take the lead roles.

While seeming simply to touch on rivalry and infidelity, with a nod to homophobia and overstretched NHS workers, the greater themes of eating disorders and serious illness rise to the fore.

Hannah wrote the musical, made up of songs from such classics as Matilda, Miss Saigon, Les Misérables, Evita, as well as newer numbers from Jekyll and Hyde and Everybody's Talking about Jamie, to "showcase our young people and give them an experience they'll remember forever."

But she also used it as a platform to raise awareness for two charities, The Wight Brainy Bunch, dedicated to supporting those affected by brain tumours, and CCAMHS for their work with children with eating disorders.

The quality of the performances was excellent. The singing was pure yet powerful, those of the three young leads Ellie, Tilly and Tom Thorne (aspiring actor Rob Smith) constantly surprising when both gentle and forceful.

No West End nasal intonation here.

JoJo Thorne, playing the mum of Rob, and Fiona Capewell playing one Crystal Clark who had had work done to create most of her physical assets, straddled comedy and poignancy effortlessly.

Laura Stichbury superbly captured the character of Brunetti's very efficient secretary.

As to the choir, their tone was excellent, as was their performance.

The space they occupied at the theatre was limited but they embraced the challenge. If they felt stepping out from singing to acting too was out of their comfort zone, it didn't show.

Accompanied by the aptly named Orchestra of the Gods – we're talking Island giants James Longford, keyboard, JC Grimshaw on guitar, Jon Thorne on double bass, Rufus Reader on percussion and Kathy Grimshaw on violin – this was a production that proved that a show based on existing songs was certainly more than the sum of its parts.