Monday, 24 February 2020

“A Servant Of Two Masters” by Carlo Goldoni
Nottingham Lace Market Theatre
Most people will know the storyline from the play “One Man Two Guvnors”, the play that launched James Corden’s career on stage. This story is adapted from the original, and the story that "One Man" is taken from.
The play opens with the introduction of Beatrice, a woman who has travelled to Venice disguised as her dead brother in search of the man who killed him, Florindo, who is also her lover. Her brother forbade her to marry Florindo, and died defending his sister's honour.
Beatrice disguises herself as Federigo (her dead brother) so that he can collect dowry money from Pantalone, the father of Clarice, her brother's betrothed. She wants to use this money to help her lover escape, and to allow them to finally wed. But thinking that Beatrice's brother was dead, Clarice has fallen in love with another man, Silvio, and the two have become engaged. Interested in keeping up appearances,
Beatrice's servant, Truffaldino, is the central figure. He is always complaining of an empty stomach and when the opportunity presents itself to be servant to another master, Florindo, he sees the opportunity for an extra dinner.
As Truffaldino runs around Venice trying to fill the orders of two masters, he is almost found out several times. To further complicate matters, Beatrice and Florindo are staying in the same hotel, and are searching for each other.
And that is just half the story!
This is one of the craziest and fun plays I've had the pleasure of seeing and something very different for the Lace Market Theatre. There is a live quartet and clever insertion of popular music to reflect the situations in the play.
Konrad Skubis plays Truffaldino,and a new name to me. Played very different to the Francis Henshall character of "One Man" although there is still plenty of physical comedy in this show, and all done with a smile and a twinkle of the eye.
Jen White (Beatrice) makes the change from "she" to "he" with just a tucking in of a skirt and a permanent marker moustache. Completely unrecognisable! Great fun role to watch, and I'm sure to play.
Arnd Korn (Florindo) delivers yet again as the second of the two masters and brings quite a British sense of humour to the show's mayhem.
Roger Newman (Pantalone) brings a dollop of Cockney humour to this role,and we also get to hear him singing one of my favourite Chas 'n' Dave songs before the show.
Chris Collins (Silvio) also gets to air some vocals - I knew I'd get to hear him sing again - and also delivers another hidden skill, plate-spinning. How many hidden talents can one man have?
Glenda Plumari (Clarice) is superb at playing a spoilt brat who can't get what she wants, and at getting what she doesn't want, as in Federigo.
Natasha Szymanski (Smeraldina) and Alessia Molteni (Dr Lombardi) both turn in wonderfully fun performances, consistent with the rest of the very talented cast.
Rosie Wallace (Brighella) also gets to air her vocals in a zany version of a Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin song, along with the cast.
Directed by Jae and Neil Marriott, they have added the equivalent of pinches of spice to this script, and just a few spicy bits, if you keep your eyes open! The addition of the modern pop classics also add another layer of fun to the production. That and the use of the whole theatre and auditorium make sure that you have your eyes and ears open at all times, so as not to miss any entrances and exits. Some of the comedy sections are completely unexpected. Let me just say "pizza"!
Lighting Design is by Phil Anthony and Sound Design by Jack Harris. Both wonderfully executed to the maximum effect.
Jane Herring’s costume choices are inspired and immense fun. Go and see what I mean! The phrase "an explosion in a paint factory" comes to mind, but in a very good way.
Musical Director is Neil Marriott and also is part of the quartet providing the music along with Mark JamesArnd Korn and Gareth Morris. My tip is to get there early enough to hear the music selection that is performed before the show starts as this will get you in the mood for this euphoric piece of theatre. There's also face painting and balloon modelling and street artists to entertain you even before you take your seats.
Listening to the reaction from the vacating audience members, they all loved this show and were full of happy chat. They obviously had the same feelings about this brilliant play with music as I did.
If you are feeling just a bit down. This show will be your medicine and will instantly lift you out of the doldrums. And I can almost guarantee you singing "Buona Sera" for days afterwards, as I know I will.
“A Servant Of Two Masters” is at the Nottingham Lace market theatre until Saturday 29 February.

Friday, 21 February 2020

"The Yeoman Of The Guard" by St Peter's G&S Society.
Ravenshead Village Hall.
I've never had the chance to see this operetta performed on stage, so it was with relish that I accepted the invitation to see this production.
Set in the Tower of London, during the 16th century, it's the darkest, and perhaps most emotionally engaging, of the Savoy Operas, ending with a broken-hearted main character and two very reluctant engagements, rather than the usual numerous marriages and happy endings. The music and lyrics though are considered to be the pair's finest works. the trademark comedy is in abundance as well, with many one liners and puns.
The first thing you notice is the wonderful set, designed by Angela Wade, this alone sets the precedent for the quality of the production.
Directed and conducted by Stephen Godward. If anyone knows how to present and produce Gilbert & Sullivan, the Stephen is the man to do it. He has a vast wealth of experience on and off the stage with G&S and has awards to prove the fact. Another guarantee of this production being the best.
This is a large cast, including the ensemble, and they make the words and music skip into life. Twenty two musical pieces, accompanied on the piano by Piotr Wisniewski.
It would be unfair to pinpoint any of these actors for their talents because they were all great.
Stephen Walker (Sir Richard Cholmomdeley), Andrew Halfpenny (Colonel Fairfax), John Carter (Sergeant Meryll), Keith White (Leonard Meryll), Andrew Rushton (Jack Point - the jester), Tony Pinchbeck (Wilfred Shadbolt), Max Taylor (First Yeoman), Richard Tanner (Second Yeoman), Joanne Robinson (Elsie Maynard), Helen Halfpenny (Phoebe Meryll), Georgie Lee (Dame Carruthers), Helen Kirk (Kate) and Trevor Tagg (Headsman) are the main cast members with a further nineteen members as inhabitants of the Tower of London.
Gilbert & Sullivan wrote some pieces which can be real tongue twisters and really pacy, but there were only a couple of times that i noticed slip ups. Minor ones, but ones I noticed that Stephen picked up on as the conductor. This didn't detract from the performance, but instead shows just how difficult G&S is to perform and what a good job this society does.
There were several "WOW" factors with this production and the costumes were just one of them. A lot of hard work obviously went into them and they looked amazing.
"The Yeoman Of The Guard" is a wonderfully comic piece but with a darker edge to it. The music is excellent and the presentation of the characters were equally excellent.
A long Act One but a shorter Act Two and with an overall time of 160 odd minutes, including the interval, you get your money's worth performance wise, music wise and length wise.
"The Yeoman Of The Guard" is at Ravenshead Village Hall until Saturday 22 February with a matinee and evening performance.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

"A Heart To Love" by Bear Left
Bonington Theatre, Arnold.
I have some bad news for all who read my reviews on her or through my review blog site. You've missed the chance of seeing a damn good, and slightly alternative take on some of Shakespeare's Greatest Hits.
Nine of Shakespeare's plays with a "love" theme plus a couple of sonnets have been chosen to spotlight scenes are what this evening is made up of.
My favourite comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream" has three scenes. They are played out, complete with accents and the final section, which is the Mechanicals play, is excellent,and done very different to any that I have seen before. Think "Acorn Antiques" Vs Shakespeare and that is similar to what we saw on Thursday Night. An ingenious pairing with brilliant accents and falling wall, props that didn't work as they should. Love Love Love this idea and would also love to see Bear Left do this in full with the same cast and the same outlook.
We also got to see a section from "Henry IV" with Prince Hal ( or should that be Prince Harry?) as a party animal getting a call on his mobile from his father. Again a wonderfully wacky version of this scene.
"Henry VI - part one" gave us a battlefield scene and the conversation between the Mother and son fighting the same battle.
"Hamlet" was another straight piece, and very powerfully done, going to show that this group are perfectly able to present Shakespeare in its' purest form, as well as being able to have fun with the script.
Also in with the first section was a wonderfully comical and funky choreographed dance piece to Sonnet 18, "Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day" which drew a round of applause form the eager audience.
Come the interval, which I couldn't to get out of the way because I really couldn't wait for what was to come, having so enjoyed the first section. They opened with a scene from "Henry V" where Henry had won the war and was asking for the hand in marriage of Katherine, with some lovely comedy language elements.
"Love's Labour's Lost" was what you'd expect from a University scenario in Shakespeare's day with four students, stating that they wanted nothing to do with love but then discovering about the secret odes, dedicated to their loves.
There was no messing around with the "Romeo & Juliet" scene. Another faithful presentation in the scene where Romeo has just spent the night with Juliet and has to leave. Neither want to tear themselves away form each other. Tenderly done with real emotion between Sally and Mark, who were playing the two lovers.One of my favourite scenes in Thursday's show.
"Macbeth" has always been my favourite tragedy, and I've found that much as I love the playing around with a script, I've always preferred the straight, no nonsense drama of this piece. Bear Left decided to do this as it should be presented, as a very dramatic piece, so thank you for keeping the faith with this one.
Then something that I knew was coming but, and I'll tell you the truth, i did not expect this to be as brilliant as it was. Another choreographed piece to Sonnet 128. A gorgeously sultry rumba, which I believe was choreographed by John Gill and executed with great passion by four of the cast. A lovely surprise which highlighted Sally as a really good dancer, and she looked amazing in the dress she wore for the dance. I hope she won't mind me saying but she has great legs and should show then off more.
The whole cast, who played several parts each, worked so hard and it always surprises me that Bear Left do not get a larger audience because they put on some wonderful pieces of theatre, deserving of big audiences to witness the quality they produce.
Arun Hayes adds comedy to the cast with his parts,and also reveals himself as a pretty good dancer as well.
Samantha Hedley and Rosanne Priest, I am sure I have not seen before but they are excellent in everything that they present here.
Claire Waterall, I know from other productions, so I knew to expect quality, and that's what I got.
Sally Nix shows off her comic, as well as her straight Shakespeare background in theatre; both are well contrasted, and both suit her talents. And as I said earlier in the review, i didn't realise what a lovely dancer she is. A light that she had kept well and truly hidden under her bushel!
Sally also directed this piece of theatre, and she got the balance spot on, and I know I keep going on about this but I really wish more theatre goers would discover Sally and her Bear Left productions and support them by buying their tickets. You really are missing out on quality on a budget price ticket.
Finally, another newish name to me in the form of Mark Wisdom. Mark has a real flair and a natural feel for Shakespeare. The speeches just roll off of his tongue, like a second language. Like the others, he can do comedy as well as serious Shakespeare, with proficiency.
I have seen actors, and not necessarily Shakespeare, who are brilliant at straight acting but fail to deliver comedy, and vice versa, but this young group have both nailed and you feel extremely comfortable watching all of them.
I started off the review by saying that this was bad news, and it is because this show is a one off for Thursday Night only. If you didn't buy tickets, well tough, you've missed an incredibly good evening of some of the best of Shakespeare,presented by a group who love his plays and have a really solid background in his style of play, be it comedy or tragedy, or whatever style.
You missed out! Make sure you don't miss their next show which is "Treasure Island" on 14th and 15th April, also at Bonington Theatre.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

"Made In Dagenham" by West Bridgford Operatic Society.
The Space, Nottingham Girls High School.
The musical documents the Dagenham Ford Motor Car uprising of 1968 when the women at the plant went on strike to, initially gain equality. This then escalated to an issue over pay equality.
Apart from this, Rita also has to manage her husband, home and kids. Her son, Graham, is being caned at school, so she has this to deal with as well. This also brings her into contact with another parent, whose son is also being caned, and turns out to be a useful ally for work.
Rita O Grady, a fictional character, spearheads the dispute which almost ends her marriage, but manages to get equality on many levels after addressing the TUC conference. While there is cause for celebration, by the end of the fight, there is loss as well.
Cat Tuckey (Rita O Grady) is on fine form in every sense and brings the feisty out of Rita. Her vocals are superb, especially highlighted in the Act Two song "Nearly Had It All". The TUC speech is delivered with passion and emotion.
Rob Holsman (Eddie O Grady) is the husband pushed to the end of his tether, forcing him to make drastic decisions. You get to see a change in Eddie as the play progresses,and Rob's vocals in another emotion packed song, "The Letter", are also superb.
Jacky Tivers (Connie) plays the Shop Steward for the women who gives Rita the platform to represent the girls. When her medical condition worsens she tells Rita that she has to go to the TUC conference, a job that Connie was supposed to be doing. A lovely strong, principled character which provides Jacky the chance to show her vocals off in "Same Old Story"
Jo Hooper (Beryl) is wonderfully foul-mouthed, well the character is anyway. Much of the comedy is from Beryl just by having that common touch and being down to earth.Ballsy, bolshy and inappropriate, but with a heart of gold.
Sarah Walker-Smith (Barbara Castle) nails the accent and the fiery character - just like her hair. Love her solo in "An Ideal World".
Diana Ives (Lisa Hopkins) plays Rita's ally, and is also the wife of the Ford Plant's Managing Director, played by a smooth faced Gareth Morris. These two characters are opposites with Hopkins well and truly treating the educated Lisa as the stereotypical 1960's stay-at-home housewife.
Richard Ives (Harold Wilson) plays the lampooned PM as a clueless, sexist buffoon. Richard does comedy well, as proven in this role.
Martin Thomas (Monty) is the Shop Steward in the play who has history with Connie.
Ian Pottage (Tooley) is wonderful in his role as the American Ford Motor Company Executive. His OTT, stereotypical American, "everything is bigger and better in the States" persona extracted some booing from the audience, but only in a panto style at the end of the show. He did a cracking rendition of "This Is America", which opened Act Two.
This show has a massive male and female ensemble, doubling as some of the minor characters.
Natalie Hemington (Sandra), the dolly bird who accepts an offer to promote the new Cortina. 
Sarah Shields (Clare) who could never find the right words for what she wanted to say, Courtney Kelham-Giddy (Cass), Sean Collins (Sid - The Shop Steward), David Gyles (Bill - A Shop Steward), Alasdair Maughan (Stan), Chris Heeley (Barry/Cortina Man), Bill Cooper (Ron Macer - The Production Manager), , Chris Hollins (Gregory Hubble - Personal Director), Julie Fowler, Becky Kirkham and Danielle Rodgers (Aides to Harold Wilson), Jill Hemington (Personal Assistant to Barbara Castle), Emily Wright (Graham O Grady), Georgia Williams (Sharon O Grady), Malcolm Cocking (Mr Buckton The Schoolmaster) and James Crabtree (Chubby Chaff - the sexist club comedian).
There's then another eighteen cast members playing un-named roles.
Directed by Tom Parry, he kept the show running at a fast pace throughout. This is also thanks to the stage management by Amy Rogers-GeeNigel Newton and Robert Keighery.
Choreographed by Sarah Shields,and with such a large cast and ensemble, I can only imagine that this was no easy task to choreograph. the results stand up for themselves though.
Musically Directed by Sam Griffiths,so it goes without saying that the music is going to be of the highest quality. He manages to bring the best vocals out of the actors and the ensemble sections are like listening to a wall of sound, such is the power.
It's always a good sound quality at The Space, and in charge of this area is Rob Kettridge.
Lighting Design is by Nick Gale, which was executed perfectly. Now, I've never really noticed, but are there no follow spots at The Space? There were a couple of times that I thought could have benefited from having a spot on a couple of the actors, but were left in the shade.
I love this musical, mainly because of the characters and being based on true events, but for me the second Act seemed to be stronger than the first. There seemed to be more gusto and energy in Act two and that is when the production seemed to get going, and I don't know why that is.
The singing was stronger, on the whole, in the second Act, but I did love the title song, "Busy Women", "I'm Sorry I Love You", and the rousing "Everybody Out" closing the first Act. There's another big crowd pleasing anthem to close the show as well in "Stand Up".
This show, and the production of the show, will leave you with a lovely warm, fire in the belly feeling when you leave the theatre, and these songs will become ear-worms to you over the next few days, especially if this is the first time of seeing the show.
"Made In Dagenham" is at The Space at the Nottingham Girls High School until Saturday 22 February. Can you af Ford to miss such a brilliantly entertaining and strong female focused musical this week?
Pictures by Gavin Mawditt

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

“A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness
Nottingham Theatre Royal.
Directed by Sally Cookson.
Thirteen year old Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don't quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes at 12.07am, there's a visitor at his window. A monster has come walking. It's come to tell Conor tales from when it walked before. And when it's finished, Conor must tell his own story and face his deepest fears.
His father has remarried and lives in America and, seen through Conor's eyes. is second on the list of priorities, after his new wife and family.
His Grandmother treats him like a servant and her home is like a show home which Conor does not feel at home in.
He is being bullied at school, but he has a friend who does stick up for him, and a teacher who is on his side, but only because of his situation with his ill mother.
This is one story that I've not read, nor have I seen the film, so I knew very little about the story, and I'm pleased that I didn't because I don't think this play would have had the same impact on me as it did.
For many people seeing this, it will be an emotional viewing, but even if you've not been in the exact same situation as Conor finds himself in, it is not the easiest of watches emotionally; especially when you remember that Conor is just thirteen years old.
Ammar Duffus (Conor), who we last saw in Nottingham in the Nottingham Playhouse production of "Holes" in 2018.The whole play is very physical and Ammar the physicality of the role comes naturally to Ammar. He gives a lot of emotion to the part, especially so at the end.
Maria Omakinwa (Mum) gets to show us the decline in the character, and while we can guess what the outcome will be, it still comes as a bit of a punch to the guts.
Kaye Brown (Grandma) tells an unfurling character story as we think one way about the character at the start and by the end, we see someone different.
Ewan Wardrop (Dad) plays a torn character, not sure what to do for the best and trying to keep everyone happy.
Keith Gilmore (Monster) has the most physical of roles,and does come over as the things that nightmares are made of, but as the play goes on, we discover the meaning of the three stories and how they connect with Conor's situation, and also why the monster was called by Conor. But is the monster real or just what is inside Conor's troubled mind.
Greg Bernstein (Harry) plays the bane of Conor's school life, along with Jade Hackett (Sully). They bully him relentlessly but it's what Harry says towards the end that really pushes Conor over the edge.
The rest of the cast are Cora Kirk (Lily), Kei Matsena (Anton),
Sarah Quist (Miss Godfrey) and Paul Sockett (Mr Marl), all of which also operate the ropes and stage manage the props.
The Set Design by Michael Vale to start with looks pretty stark, but then we see just how clever the set is with ropes to create the tree. It allows us create pictures in our head.
With the ropes there is aerial work, and this adds another dimension to this play, placing the monster on high, making him seem larger and more terrifying than if he had been at stage level.
Creating the nightmare images from Conor's head, and positioning us where we can experience this nightmare is done by video and projection design (Dick Straker).
Music is by Benji Bower,and we get to see the musicians in an open square up in the scenery. The music really creates atmosphere, and the inclusion of Khachaturian's Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia - also recognised as the 1970's theme to "The Onedin Line" - is emotive and beautiful. The original music is also atmospheric and well placed.
Lighting Design by Aiden Malone and Sound Design by Mike Beer both add to the feel of this very special piece of theatre.
I overheard another theatre goer stating when they came out that they didn't understand it and they were confused. I'm not sure if they saw the same play as I did because the play, while it could be seen by some as a tad depressing, was very beautiful. It also makes us think about mental health issues within the play.
The inclusion of circus skills and the choreographed dance pieces were wonderful, and the singing was both angelic and euphoric, with the ability to send shivers down the spine.
“A Monster calls” is at the Nottingham theatre Royal until Saturday 22 February.

Friday, 14 February 2020

“Flight” by Darkfield
Nottingham Lakeside
Here is something completely different to what I have attended before. Held in a 40 foot metal shipping container. The inside is a replica of a plane’s interior complete with seating, seat belts and headphones. What follows takes place in complete darkness and isolated from your fellow passengers by the headphones and the black out.
I was really surprised because from the outside, the container looked quite small, but once inside this tardis of a container, it seemed a lot bigger. The seats were comfortable and you really felt at home.
This piece of theatre though is completely mind boggling and the sounds, which seem to come from every angle really have the ability to bend your mind. Now, I'm not going to tell you anything about what happens because this is something that you need to experience to get the full sensory experience.
The take off, the turbulence, even the kicking of the back of the seat and the feeling that there are people moving around in the dark, and then there is what you get to hear through the head phones. And it also plants seeds in your brain as to if everyone else is actually hearing and experiencing what you are.
Now, if you have a fear of the dark or have claustrophobia, this may not be for you, but if not, you will love this sensory trip. Go with a friend or friends and you'll have plenty to talk about when you finally get back to earth.
It lasts around 25 minutes but the time seems to, and if you'll pardon the pun, fly by. You may never get the same experience again, so give it a go.
“Flight” is at Lakeside in Nottingham until 23 February but at various times so please check the Lakeside arts website for bookings.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

“Chicago” by Musicality
Nottingham Arts Theatre
One of the most stylized musicals ever created is taken on by Musicality from the University of Nottingham students. They have a rich history of producing quality musicals, and this is no different, adding to their growing list of theatrical successes. I could just sum this production up in three words I LOVED IT, but why use three words when 1003 would suffice?
Everybody who loves musical theatre will know the story of Roxie Hart who kills her lover, Fred Casley, and is sent to jail for her crime. There she meets Velma Kelly, who is to become her rival inside, but with the help of Matron Mama Morton, who can arrange just about anything for her girls, at a price, which is where hot shot lawyer Billy Flynn enters the scene.
Billy takes the case on and Velma’s trial gets pushed down the pecking order, which causes friction between the two jail birds. Throw into the mix the nerdy, down trodden, sad but sweet husband Amos Hart and the comedy and drama is all ready to provide plenty of razzle dazzle, sex and sizzle,and all that jazz.
Catherine New (Roxie Hart) is a new name to me and this is her first show with Musicality, but no way will i believe that this will be her last. What a debut. This woman acts with every inch of her body. The smirk, the eyebrow raised,the strut and the pout, all bringing the wonderful character of Roxie to life. After tonight one of the names on everyone's lips is definitely going to be Catherine.
Jack Matthews (Amos Hart) really teased every ounce of sympathy from this audience, a real ladies' favourite. But what belies this doormat of a character is Jack's singing voice. the simple "Mr Cellophane" grew and grew and we got to experience this powerful and controlled set of vocals that Jack has. The same vocals that I regaled about as Eddie in last year's Musicality production of "Made In Dagenham".
Sam Hook (Fred Casely) also makes his Musicality debut,and while Casely gets bumped off at the start, Sam gets the chance to show off his choreographic skills as part of the ensemble. Another excellent Musicality debut performer with an extensive theatrical CV to bring to this already ridiculously talented group.
Lucy Avery (Mama Morton) always promises a great performance, and she never breaks a promise. I loved the way that she brought a vaudevillian feel to "When You're Good To Mama", making this song seem fresher than I'd heard before. Lucy also duets with Katie Dart in the song "Class" and what a pairing these two make; perfectly blended like a fruit smoothie.
Katie Dart (Velma Kelly) is another first time Musicality discovery. What an amazing voice this young woman has, and what stage presence. Just everything about this performance was spot on, and how she managed to dance as energetically and athletic as she did, as well as deliver those vocals, I'll never know; she never stopped to catch her breath.
Robin Ramsay (Billy Flynn) made this smooth but arrogant character his own. Robin delivered some brilliant, and controlled, vocals, especially in his big numbers "Razzle Dazzle" and "All I Care About" and "They Both Reached For The Gun". He demanded your attention whenever he stepped on stage.
Paolo Elias (Emcee) is one of those actors/dancers/singers who just seems to give 110% in everything he does. I never really realised that this character of Emcee was such an important role until this production, and Paolo really managed to shine a spotlight on the role. He's also a very good dancer, hitting every beat, and like many other character actors, he really brings everything out in his face. I thought he was great as Harold Wilson last year in "Dagenham" but his talents have hit a new high for me in this production.
Siska Greene (Mary Sunshine) is yet another actor who I've had the pleasure of seeing their star continue to rise. Her vocals reminded me of a young Julie Andrews with her wonderful RP version of Mary Sunshine. Oh and what a voice, quite operatic and incredibly controlled.
The ensemble Joseph Straw, Fiona Cook, Lucy Boardman, Ellen Steel, Meghan Borg, Elly Hassall, Sophie Clark, Isa Alkhalifa, Charlie Greene, Andrew WhitakerJames Warner, Isabella Chapman, Alice Humphrys, Carla Davison, Eliza Wappat, Ewan Waddell and Ulysse Abbate just go to show how important a great ensemble are to a show, several of them making their Musicality debut.
Directed by Adriana Dvorakova, this show is everything I could ask for. It is tight, pacy when needed and completely captivating
Produced by Rowena Fry and Meg Clerments.
This show would be nothing without the amazing choreography and Hattie Rothwell-Inch has done an amazing job in this field. Choreography wise, I think this is one of my favourite musicals because of the sass, the class and the sexiness.
Matt Talbot is the show’s Musical Director, but not only is he the Musical Director, he is one of the few MD's who is a showman in his own right. Just watching him up there conducting this amazing orchestra, he is performing as much as any other actor on that stage. He brings the drama out of the music and his orchestra. This is proven in the opening of Act Two's Entr'acte, extracting an exciting appreciation from the audience. His arrangements of some of the pieces also bring freshness to songs that I have heard performed many times, but here, sounding new.One of the best sounding local orchestras I have heard, and that muted trumpet is a dream to hear played so well.Matt was ably assisted with the Musical Direction by Annabel Jeffries.
Amazing costumes (Megan Pavey), hair and make up (Sophie Mitchell, Josie Parry and Lucy Taylor), and without these specialist areas, the production would not have looked as totally professional as it does.
Even down to the stage management which kept this show rolling, everything about this production smacked of class and professionalism. And when the quality of a show is of this standard, it puts some touring shows I've seen in the shade.
I now have an apology to give. The seats at the Nottingham Arts Theatre are such that you sink into them, making them not the easiest to release yourself from. Now with that in mind, plus the fact that someone had spilt a drink on the floor which then caused a river under my seat, making me recreate something from Dancing On Ice, I was unable to get to my feet to give you all the standing ovation you all so richly deserved.
Wonderful lighting and the sound is one of the best that I have heard at the Arts Theatre. I heard every single word of every single song,and every section of the script.
Every singer was perfectly in tune. every dance step was executed with great elan, and the energy from that stage was mind blowing.
Look I could go on forever stating what a brilliant show this is and what talent Musicality have fostered, but don't take my word for ( yes do take my word for it ), go and get your tickets because this is the show to see this week.
I've seen this show about four times in the last year or so, and even though it has not yet usurped "Blood Brothers" as my all time favourite musical, "Chicago" is snapping at its' heels, thanks to productions such as Musicality constantly give.
“Chicago” is at the Nottingham Arts Theatre until Saturday 15 February. it would be a crime to miss this particular show.