A Chorus Line

Date 30th September 2016
Society CODY Musical Theatre Company
Venue Princes' Theatre, Aldershot
Type of Production Musical
Director Sue Sampson
Musical Director Paul Tickner
Choreographer April Timpson

Report

Author: Kay Rowan

A Chorus Line is a non-stop dance experience set in an audition space for an off-Broadway show. The plot explores the pasts, the hopes, the fears and the dreams of a group of dancers auditioning for a show.  The story is based on an actual series of tapes on which dancers explained their lives and aspirations.  The content of the tapes were translated into the script for “A Chorus Line”.  The off-Broadway premiere took place in 1975 from where it transferred to Broadway and has since danced its way around the world.  A brave show, in the sense of requiring so many talented dancers who can also sing, which CODY cast to great effect.  The programme is extremely well designed and contains all the information needed.  The pen pictures were very detailed and on this occasion focussed on skill and qualifications, including the use of accents and dialects.

The cast wore individual style rehearsal clothes throughout the show until the finale when the coordinated costumes were a delight, particularly the stunning waistcoats and hats – the latter having been made by the Assistant Director.

The orchestra created a really good sound and gave the singers good support. It was most impressive that, with a significant number of brass and wind, the balance between band and singers was well maintained.  Credit must be given to the sound team who so effectively balanced all the levels.

The whole production was exceedingly well crafted.  Each member of the cast wove their own story into the show, created their own persona and illustrated how their past was reflected in their present day lives and ultimately their futures.  It was disappointing that the society were forced by the venue to introduce an interval where none was written in because the show was moving at a very smooth pace towards the conclusion and the well-woven spell was broken.  The pace was restored however and the show concluded on a high note.

The whole cast appeared to be thoroughly enjoying their experience and had immersed themselves in the action.  The performance was very pleasurable to watch and the production was of a very high standard.

With the usual style and panache, so often displayed by CODY MTC,  the show just flew by. Paul Tickner is to be praised for the quality of the sound produced by both cast and orchestra. The director, Sue Sampson, always seems to get the best, and then even more, out of her cast.  Her inspiring ideas frequently give individuals a sense of ownership of their part and their actions become so credible. The role of the choreographer in this show is paramount and April Timpson took on this role and together with her assistant Laura Cross they turned the members of CODY into a troupe of dancers ready to wow Broadway. Congratulations to all involved for a job well done.  The audience thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.