Wednesday, 8 October 2014

by Erewash Musical Society

What a devilishly good musical being performed at The Duchess Theatre at Long Eaton by The Erewash Musical Society and what a stroke of genius casting Adam Richmond as Darryl Von Horne, aka the devil himself.

And what a horny little devil he is as well! Arrogant and over confident and self appointed God's gift to the female form, that is Darryl Von Horne, not Adam Richmond. Played with pure (pure?) conviction he cast a spell over the audience as well as the three Eastwick witches, Alexandra ( Alexandra Taverner), Jane (Stephanie Smart) and Sukie ( Rachael Brown).

And there's another spell binding piece of casting, three sexy Witches and a good looking devil! And oh boy does he have a devil of a time with these three once he has them under his spell!

Von Horne who stakes his place as the newcomer of Eastwick and sets out to ruffle the feathers of the Eastwick know all and busy body, Felicia Gabriel ( Gill Cooke) and succeeds with grisly results. Our three Witches feel that things are going too far and decide to give him the collective heave ho, which is when Von Horne decides to seduce Jennifer Gabriel (Gemma Blake), the daughter of the now deceased Mr and Mrs Gabriel, and also the ex girlfriend of Michael Spofford ( Zak Charlesworth). But things do not turn out the way that Von Horne planned on his wedding day.....

An excellent cast and some really catchy songs. I heard a few leaving the theatre singing and humming "Dance With The Devil", some good sets and wow, what costumes for the Witches! (Do you get the impression that I was taken by our three ladies?). Great choreography by Kris Cunningham and a very tight band led by Dave Dallard.

Some witty one liners and clever word play in the script but for me the show was let down just a bit , not by anyone on stage , but by the technical crew. There were sound problems, mainly in the first half but these reared up again in the second half with microphone issues. the lighting was also a bit skewiff with spots sometimes having the actors in shadow or at times no light at all, which having seen the professional production a few years back with Marti Pellow as Von Horne, I know that this wasn't the way the lighting should have been for this musical. Day three and this should not have been an issue!

One other thing that also took the enjoyment off of the evening was the temperature in the theatre. It was so cold in there and they had the fans on. You really should not need to sit in your coat in the theatre to be at a comfortable temperature.

Gripes aside though, this is one hell of a good musical and if I can add just one more thing. I always look at the ensemble and while all of them gave their all, there was one who gave their all plus a bit more and he really stood out for me and I think deserves a mention. I hope that I've got the right actor but Hayden Fletcher, brilliant enthusiasm and oomph every time you were on stage. I think you will go a long way with the attitude you presented.

"Witches Of Eastwick" is at the Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton until Saturday 11 October.

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