A West End Night Out
Review by: Terry Rymer (NODA Rep East Dist 6)
Director, Christine Mullord. MD, Stuart Lamb. Choreographer, Jean Cator.
This was a vibrant and energetic variety of many well known songs from the best of the West End, complemented by some lesser known numbers. Make no mistake, this sort of show may have been a fall-back position when the license for Carousel was withdrawn, but the amount of effort and planning is none the less demanding and uncertain until the whole concept hits the stage. And it did …with a ‘Bang!’
Some real audience pleasers, with an opening from the ever smiling and attentive company as they rollicked through that great number, ‘Flash Bang Wallop’ from Half a Sixpence. This set the scene for a cornucopia of delight, with each and every one of the performers totally engaged with their solo and group numbers, frequently garnished with some effective and creative choreography. All well drilled and adding just enough movement to keep the action engaging, and linking without those awkward between numbers moments, so often seen at variety shows. What was obvious was the depth of talent available to WLOG, as even those who do not always get leading roles were able to show their vocal prowess.
Well done for enhancing light and projection backdrops to bring a third dimension to the numbers. There were so many moments to savour that it would be impossible to single out individuals as this was a team performance and the audience could choose their own favourites! Just to compliment the chorus on their vivacious and constant energy with effervescent smiles, even the men…(mostly!). An unusual and moving ‘Burn’, by Daisy from the show Hamilton, left the audience buzzing and concluded with the first half Abba finale of, ‘The Winner Takes It All’ from Jude, leading to the lively ‘Voulez Vous’ from Mamma Mia.
An outstanding Company opening to Act 2 with ‘Masquerade’ from Phantom Of The Opera followed by a real stunning ‘Think of Me’ from Bonnie Quinlan and ‘Wishing You….’ from Julia Higgins. The Company, made up of most of the soloists, again shone in a Mary Poppins ‘Supercalafragilistic….’ number providing a contrast to an emotional ‘Feed the Birds’ from Debbie.
Super solos, duets, tap dancing and then more, followed seamlessly to the once again glorious finale from Hairspray as Sarah gave us a heartfelt ‘Where I’ve Been’, leading into ‘You Can’t Stop The Beat’. With the audience clapping along, this was a fitting end to a great evening’s entertainment. A standing ovation expressed the feelings of most of us for a top class show! You filled the ‘void’ well…this was no rebound syndrome, it was a show to be proud of…maybe don’t wait for another fourteen years to do it again!