Act 1 opening, without the customary car, was good and worked very well. Chorus work was handled well but the pace of Act 1 was slow in the scene setting (ie dialogue) sequences. Also the build up to Lambeth Walk seemed a bit forced, though lack of room was a clear factor. Act 2 opening was very good with lots of colour, movement and smiles and this seemed to establish a good pace through to conclusion. Characters of note were Bill, who had the mannerisms and style right, but lost a few punch lines with his tendency to drop his voice at the end of sentences. His cloak scene in the library was excellent. Sally had a nice voice, though needs to take care that the feeling and emotion are expressed fully. She could have been a little more forceful as Billy’s girl in order to make her transition to ‘posh’ at the end more contrasting. Parchester and Sir John Tremayne were both very good and Gerald was fine. The Duchess was appropriately demanding, though a little short of her dialogue description as ‘Mussolini without the charm’. Jaqueline looked good though she seemed uneasy in some of her movements and the seduction scene looked a little strained. The orchestra balance with stage was fine. Scenery was good within the impossible limits of setting a mansion on a small stage, and costumes looked good. Despite a few small hitches this production will certainly have achieved that most important of tasks and pleased its audiences.
Report by John Warburton