|Date||23rd November 2018|
|Society||Bath Light Operatic Group|
|Venue||Bath Theatre Royal|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Matthew Finch|
Author: Dee Way
This was a fabulous production of a wonderful show. It was an absolute delight to watch and hear, and to see the progress of the characters through the story. However, it was the precision of details that made this one of the best productions I have seen for many months. This musical is full of well-known songs so we arrived looking forward to a thoroughly extravagant presentation of the show on the spacious Theatre Royal stage.
The Direction was fabulous. There was constant action taking place throughout the performance, and the organisation and planning were abundantly clear. The use of the hired staging worked extremely well, with star cloths, light cloths, a magnificent station hall and even wide steps adding levels and variety to the scenes. The scenery was inventive, with a roll-on dressing room, the creation of the train using the cast. Indeed, one sat there and wondered what would be the next surprise! The cast were very well drilled in their moves, dialogue and dances, with precision the hallmark of the chorus work and the tap routines being both accurate and brilliant. The suggestion of time passing in one of the later scenes worked superbly.
The music was very well played at a volume that supported the singers and gave great energy to the dancers. The sound generally was excellent, too, with radio mikes being controlled well and sound effects well cued and at an appropriate volume. Lighting during the show was excellent, with subtle changes to create mood and the pzzaz of the light cloths very well used. I loved the use of the two spotlights up stage at one time, brining back memories of old style theatre.
The costumes, wigs and make up all added to the sense of extravaganza, with some extremely fast changes for many chorus members. It was to your credit that everyone was ready in time, and correctly dressed! The variety of colours and textures in the costumes also worked extremely well, from diaphanous dance dresses, to the station customers, to the ball gowns used.
The choreography was fabulous! The use of the whole stage for many numbers was lovely, and the precision of the moves was fantastic. I loved the use of the steps towards the end for the final dance, as the cast moved up, down and across each other, which looked magical from the front. There was also an impressive mix of dance styles used within the show which would have been a credit to a professional company.
However, none of this would have worked had the cast not pulled out all the stops. Their energy was impressive as they danced and sang their way through the show. I loved the way that the lead players moved on the stage with purpose and character. The dialogue was clearly delivered and full of character at all times, which made the relationships between the cast members all the more real. Congratulations!