JOHANN Strauss’s Die Fledermaus with its lively and tuneful melodies was this spring’s production by the Witham Amateur Operatic Society. It was performed in the Public Hall all last week.The plot is very complicated and deals with the practical joke of a man who had attended a fancy dress ball dressed as a bat - hence the title.
Dawn King made an excellent heroine with her pleasant singing voice and lively personality. Stewart Adkins played the part of her husband, the victim of the practical joke. He had a very easy presence on stage and seemed to enjoy the part, especially when flirting with all and sundry. The relationship with his wife was well developed by both characters. The audience really woke up when Derek Collins came on stage. Playing the part of a third rate singing gigolo with a mid-european accent and a obviously false wig - he made all there was to be made of his part and more. It was a pity it was such a small part.
The scenery was well designed and accommodated the large cast well.
Nicholas Clough was The Bat, a very serious, pompous, pedantic practical joker. Tim Sheppard, the gaol governor played a lively elderly roue, enjoying himself with the ladies and making the most of the drunken scene in act II. Geoff Coverdale was a good partner to him in this scene with its many opportunities for humorous acting.
Katrina Brooks played the ladies maid going in disguise to the ball where she sings the famous laughing song. She was well balanced by Kathryn Adkins who played her sister. Alison Brewer made a good Prince Orlofsky and was able to get the top notes much more comfortably than many amateur tenors.
The singing of the chorus was good though they tended to be rather static.
Rosalinda - Eisenstein Dawn King,
Gabriel Eisenstein - Stewart Adkins,
Adele - Katrina Brooks,
Doctor Falke - Nicholas Clough,
Alfredo - Derek Collins,
Frank - Tim Sheppard,
Prince Orlofsky - Alison Brewer,
Ida - Kathryn Adkins,
Doctor Blint - Tim Clarke,
Frosch - Geoff Coverdale,
Mitzi - Helen Collins.
Footmen, maidservants, guests, warders,
Muriel Chambers, Anita Collins, Judy Henderson, Valerie Hutchin, Pearl Jackson, Cynthia Meek, Julia Reed, Pam Reid, Joyce Ryder, Eden Starling, Roberta Tyler. Howard Brooks, Tony Court, Steve Draper, Mick Hemstedt,
Ernie Law, Danny Mullane, John Slade.
Dancers, Susan Page, Sue Rogers, Joanne Swan, Cathy Swann.