Director Cathy Court
Musical Director Ed Court
Performed at Witham Public Hall 10th May 2011
A popular show, and one which is a good company show using talents from newer members and seasoned players to add to the mix of the many diverse characters in the production.
It was well cast generally, and I would compliment the Wardrobe ladies on the costumes, many of which were sourced by the cast members as well, I understand. The ladies looked very elegant as did the men especially in more formal dress.
Rachel Clapp as Reno Sweeney gave a very confident performance and her interaction with both Billy Crocker and Lord Evelyn Oakleigh was delightful.
David Slater as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh was a suitably upper class yet naïve member of the gentry, until we heard of his dalliance with Plum Blossom. Quite a change from David’s last major part as Sweeney Todd, and this time a fun part which I am sure he enjoyed.
Marcus Churchill as Billy Crocker looked good and sang well. This character is quite a difficult and complex one and perhaps rather more of the comedy aspect could have been enlarged on? Corrina Wilson as Hope Harcourt looked lovely and had a really pleasant voice. Two seasoned players Tom Whelan as Elisha Whitney and Cynthia Stead as Mrs. Harcourt were excellent both in dialogue and diction which was so distinct. Cynthia was almost upstaged by Margot (Cheeky) the dog who behaved impeccably and had many an “AHHH” from the audience on his good behaviour.
Stewart Adkins as Moonface Martin was very athletic and gave a confident Public Enemy Number 13 and as a duo with Kathryn Adkins playing Erma entertained us very well.
All supporting characters and chorus were very well played and the sung numbers tuneful and well sung.
There seemed to be fewer dancers in this show than I have seen, but the Angels did well in some good routines despite lack of numbers.
Musically I felt that the musicians in the orchestra with Ed Court as Musical Director did pretty well, as did Ed in his debut with WAOS. Cathy Court as Director obviously made rehearsals fun which is what it is all about, to have a good time but produce the results, which I thought was well achieved.
Well done to the company on a really bright entertaining show.
Review by Ann Platten
In olden days, a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking, apparently. Or so Cole Porter tells us. But as he also tells us, in the same song, that good is bad, black is white and day is night, perhaps we should not take him too seriously. After all, how can we take seriously a cruise in which America’s most dangerous criminal is feted as a celebrity? We can’t, but there again, we’re not supposed to. This is a musical comedy. It’s about fun, song, dance, pastiche and absurdity.
Its delightfully contrived plot is only one element of the fun. It’s the framework for all the rest, the colourful costume and backdrop, the complicated and sophisticated dance routines, the occasionally saucy script – and of course the songs. Six people, including P G Wodehouse, had a hand in writing the book. But there was only one Cole Porter. And it is his infectious songs that hold the whole thing together.
All the main characters had a chance at the limelight. Marcus Churchill’s tenor voice blended nicely with the contraltos of Rachel Clapp and Corinna Wilson, the latter making an impressive WAOS debut after coming through the ranks of Witham Music Theatre. Stewart Adkins and David Slater had great fun with the over-the-top Moonface Martin and Lord Evelyn Oakleigh respectively while Tom Whelan’s comic timing came to the fore as the Wall Street banker Elisha Whitney.
Cathy Court’s direction brought out all the colour, movement and joie de vivre of the production while her son Ed made an impressive debut as musical director at the age of 17.
Review by Ron Fosker