A Christmas Surprise

Date 16th December 2017
Society Riverside Musical Theatre Company
Venue Park View Theatre, Chester-le-street
Type of Production Concert
Director Sheila May (Rouse)
Musical Director Donna Graham
Choreographer Sheila May (Rouse)


Author: Michelle Coulson

For their Christmas production this year Riverside MTC  chose to perform a specially written show which consisted of 25 musical numbers linked together by a story of a family who although are spread across the world, come together at Christmas time. The story began at a Halloween party hosted by a recently retired couple Keith (Peter Johnson) and Ivy (Barbara Waugh) and the proceedings got off to a lively start with a company number “This is Halloween” which was well performed. To surprise his wife Keith contacts their family to arrange a Christmas surprise, no mean feat as the couple have a son who lives in Hong Kong with his wife and daughter (Nick Bevan, Julie J Laws and Caroline Bevan), a son living in Sydney with his wife and three children (David Patrick, Julie Barton, Chloe Saunders, Phoebe Williams and Hannah Edmondson), and a daughter living in Canada who has just got engaged to a Canadian (Katie Barton and Stephen Shield). A visit to each of these places gave an ideal opportunity for an appropriate musical number in each location, but also numbers such as “There Once was a Man”, “Hey Brother” and “Seasons of Love” which were about the relationships. There were many good individual performances and the finale of act one “Another Day of Sun” definitely brought a bit of summer to a cold winter’s day. When the family finally made it to the Christmas get together there was the perfect opportunity for a Christmas sing along which was very enjoyable and “Merry Christmas Everyone” complete with snow fall was very fitting finale.

The 3 piece band gave fine support and the sound balance was good, the show was well dressed and the production had a mix of music to suit all tastes which made for a very entertaining production.  

I was honoured to be asked to present NODA long service awards to Lillian Dawson, Cecilia Hillam and Peter Johnson, congratulations to all.