WITHAM Operatic Society continues its diamond jubilee celebrations with that tried and trusted musical comedy, The Quaker Girl. And unless you are completely hooked on more sophisticated entertainment, you are bound to admire the wealth of talent possessed by this old/young company for the cast-list is long and most of the parts are extremely well taken.
Janet Collins is Prudence, the girl who leaves a Quaker commune for the flashy delights of Paris and manages to retain her integrity throughout. A most agreeable characterisation this, with some delightful singing especially in her last act solo. In Paris she meets the wicked Prince Carlo, played with tremendous authority by Jon Cave. The part of Tony Chute, the American who captures her heart, is nicely taken by Stewart Adkins and the secondary love story of Princess Mathilde and Captain Charteris is splendidly told and sung by Pat Cooke and Nick Clough.
The Chief of Police in Paris is lame Monsieur Larose. Brian Henderson makes him suitably sinister and Geoff Coverdale gives a polished performance as minister of state Duhamel. Rita Page gives a charming picture of cuddly Madame Blum and Jo Wood makes the most of landlady Mrs Lukyn’s brief appearance.
Kathy Adkins is an engaging Toinette, Judy Henderson is a most elegant Diane while Richard Ould and Christine Fensom are stern and convincing Quakers. It is left to producer Derek Collins to lead the comedy department with his usual aplomb with his Jeremiah, a Quaker with a big sense of humour, and pretty and vivacious partner Lara Barber as Phoebe.
Musical Director Gareth Dallender Jones makes the most of the pleasant and well-known music and the lively chorus back him up with a will. This is a cheerful and very well presented version of a show which has served operatic societies faithfully down the years.
Ewart Cornﬁeld, Jo Wood, Edward Maltby, Richard Ould, Christine Fensum, Lara Barber, Nick Clough, Pat Cooke, Rita Page, Stewart Adkins, Derek Collins, Janet Collins, Kathy Adkins, Brian Henderson, Judy Henderson, Jon Cave, Geoff Coverdale, Trixie Ellesdon, Derek Hunt, Kcn Hawkes.
CHORUS LADIES: Trixie Ellesdon, Christine Fensum, Nadia Habul, Janice Hawkes, Clare Hollick, Ann Hunt. Hclcne Jones, Clare Lager. Cynthia Meek, Catherine Moore, Ann Quarrie, Jan Saunders, Mandy Smith, Kate Stevenson, Carole Turner, Christine Willetts Jo Wood.
CHORUS MEN: Ewart Cornﬁeld. Dick Enﬁeld, Ron Howe, Ernie Law, Malcolm Lowe, Edward Maltby, Roger Munt, Richard Ould.
BACKSTAGE: Technical Manager Ken Hawkes; Stage Manager Audrcy King; Stage Crew Les King, Derek Hunt, Mick Adams, Jim Fensom, Ron Wightman. David Knight and Colin Ismay; Properties Sonya Carter, Alan Sales and Ann Hunt Lighting Robin Dedman, Wardrobe Nesta Hinchliffe. Makeup June Smith and Lucy Sheppard Prompt Kath Adams; FOH Manager John Gunson Programmes June Locke.