Wednesday, 5 September 2018

“Sweet Charity”
Nottingham Playhouse
This is one of the most anticipated shows this year, probably because it’s the first full blown musical that the Nottingham Playhouse have been involved in since 2006. To cite a phrase from one of the songs... "All I can say is WOW!" This musical will blow your sicks off.
Based on the 1969 film starring Shirley MacLaine and the book by Neil Simon with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields.
Charity is an unlucky in love gal who makes a living from dancing in a seedy dive in New York called The Fandango Ballroom.. Having just been dumped by her latest boyfriend, she decides that enough is enough and she is going to change her life. A chance meeting with the shy Oscar in a broken down lift kick starts her turnaround.....or does it?
This show has the most exquisite soundtrack with big belters like “Big Spender”, “If My friends Could See Me Now”, "I Always Cry At Weddings" and the infuriatingly catchy “Rhythm Of Life” and oozes style and glamour
Charity Hope Valentine is played by West End and Olivier award-winning rising star Rebecca Trehearn. What a wonderful voice she has and you can tell that she has had a West End grounding by the whole aura she has on that stage. She is fun to watch and she makes you feel for her character.
Oscar Lindquist is played by EastEnders actor Marc Elliott. The thing I love about seeing actors from TV in shows like this is that you see a completely different side of the actor. When you are in people's living rooms six days a week you think you know everything about that actor. Seeing them on stage brings another side of their talents to life. Marc shows a great talent for comedy and character acting as well as a decent voice.
The rest of the cast are incredibly good but I must mention a few by name. Jeremy Secomb (Vittorio Vidal) has an amazing voice that sent the hairs on my arms up, Carl Sanderson (Herman) also has a very flexible set of vocal chords.
Charity's fellow dancers, played by Amy Ellen Richardson (Nickie) and Carly Mercedes Dyer (Helene) are also great fun and have lovely voices which really blend well in those harmonies.
The whole cast exude boundless amounts of energy. especially in the choreography which is wonderfully created by Alistair David, with assistance from Emily Goodenough
Directed by Bill Buckhurst he keeps the fun and pace going throughout but when there are lower moments, they really hit home. Great contrast.
The show design is by takis and the whole set is breath taking and exciting, slotting smoothly in and out of position.
Musical director is Caroline Humphris and her band, which were on stage all the time, created the feel of the 1960's perfectly.
The Playhouse have great acoustics and staging musicals really ought to be done more often than they do. The blend of the sound (Emma Laxton) and the wonderfully visual lighting design (Joshua Carr), along with the marvellous cast, make this show the massive success it is and will continue to be while at the Playhouse.
“Sweet Charity” is at the Nottingham Playhouse until Saturday 22 September 2018, so if you want to have fun, fun, fun as well as a few laughs, then you know where to go for a good time!

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