For the Love of Musicals
The Bacon Theatre Summer 2018
We Love Musicals..... Do You?
There was a buzz about the Bacon Theatre where we were welcomed by John and Helen.
The programme said it was a mix of the musical genre showing the changing face of Musical Theatre over the past 70 years.
The staging was a two-tiered rostra plus a screen for projected scenes. This worked well but I felt the edges of the rostra could have been covered to soften the lines.
The company wore black, with flashes of colour added to depict various scenes which ensured the busy cast was not worried by numerous costume changes.
A great deal of planning had gone into the programme with changing moods and tempo with numbers chosen to reflect the versatility of the Society.
There's No Business Like Show Business was followed by the perennial favourite Oklahoma which gave us a taste of what to expect.
Young Promenaders were excellent in Bugsy Malone's Fat Sam's Grand Slam and Ella Blackwell's 'Tallulah' was cheeky.
West Side Story and Chicago gave a chance for soloists to shine with Tonight, beautifully sung by the ensemble.
The Cell Block Tango sextet certainly delivered, nicely contrasting with Dave Herbert's gentle Mr Cellophane.
Beth Gilbert shone in The Life I Never Led from Sister Act followed by the ensemble in the haunting Whistle Down The Wind.
Scarlet Pimpernel is not well known but has some wonderful music. Madame Guillotine, a robust number with strong solo was contrasted by the reflective When I Look At You before taking the audience into The Riddle, again a demanding number for all.
Act II opened with Skid Row from Little Shop Of Horrors, performed by a very enthusiastic cast and followed by the lovely Somewhere That's Green.
Gregory Aston, a guest soloist brought in to replace an unwell cast member gave a terrific performance of Fiddler's If I Were A Rich Man portraying the irony and pathos of the number, Matchmaker was fun and Anatevka sang.
Seussical lifted the audience with the Young Promenaders getting into top gear, how they enjoyed this section, especially Green Eggs and Ham.
From Kiss Me Kate we saw Where Is The Life Of Late I Led well performed by Samuel Taunton followed by Brush Up Your Shakespeare.
Miss Saigon's Movie In My Mind and Last Night Of The World and Billy Elliot's, Electricity performed by Ella Critchley were all excellent.
The arrangement was a beautiful piece encompassing every emotion through strong soloists and ensemble until it's dramatic conclusion.
The cast richly deserved the standing ovation.
Finally, Hairspray's You Can't Stop The Beat sent everyone home on a high.
Congratulations to all the Production Team for guiding this very talented group especially David and his musicians, always supportive, never intrusive. To Daphne, Kate, Heather, and Ceri for bringing your talents from page to stage.
Thank you for a super evening and your hospitality.