Whenever Joe Meighan directs, I compare him with a sculptor creating a statue. Eventually, it becomes a joy with some interesting details along the way.

On this occasion, his raw materials are 38 talented 15 – 25-year-olds from MYP Productions, who he has moulded to present Parade, a blockbuster of a show at Waterside Arts this week.

It is Jason Robert Brown’s dark musical about anti-semitism in 1913.

It won a Tony award in 1998 and is based on a book by Alfred Uhry.

What’s more, it’s a true story. Leo Frank was unjustly convicted of killing a 13-year-old girl who worked in his Georgian pencil factory.

On the say-so of a black cleaner and false evidence, Leo Frank, her boss, is convicted of murder.

Eventually his death sentence is commuted to imprisonment.

The tragic ending is worse than any death sentence but the second act reveals a glimmer of light as Leo and his wife, Lucille, rediscover their love.

You’ll never forget their duet, All the Wasted Time.

These two, played respectively by Jack Gibson and Tara Kitson, are pivotal to the success of the show.

This is, after all, a musical and the composer provides unique opportunities for the two to express their feelings in song. It’s hard to believe they are both only 19.

Messenger Newspapers:

Jack Gibson, 19, plays the tragic role of Leo Frank, a factory manager falsely accused of murder.

Although the score isn’t easy, the rest of the cast come up with some incredible solos, each reflecting their individuality and emotions.

Jason Robert Brown’s music includes such variety, it sweeps you off your feet. It goes from anthem to gospel and blues numbers to a cheerful hoe-down

There isn’t a weak link in this show and it’s hard to believe just how young the cast are.

With a five piece band lead by Neil G. Bennett, and imaginative costumes, what more could you want?

* Parade is at Sale Waterside Arts at 7.30pm until August 4. Tickets, of varying prices, can be purchased from watersidearts.org or telephone 0161 912 5616. Star rating: * * * * *.