A Night At The Musicals

Date 1st November 2013
Society Urmston Musical Theatre
Venue Urmston Leisure Centre
Type of Production Revue / Concert
Director Rita Taylor-Bentley
Musical Director Deborah Holmes
Choreographer Sophie Johnson

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Author: Kevin Proctor

This year, Urmston Musical Theatre shelved the idea to present just one musical and instead, decided to treat us to a melange of some classic and old favourite show tunes with ‘A Night At The Musicals’ - presenting, in a very traditional manor, mini-trailers from classic shows. 

Director, Rita Taylor-Bentley, had given this show an elegant approach as her cast were dressed to impress; the Gents in their DJ’s and the Ladies donned selections of prom dresses, ball gowns and cocktail dresses.

The stage was presented nicely with a false proscenium arch made up of lights and simple (but effective) screens along the back which, with the help of lighting, helped to accent moods while also adding splashes of colour where needed.

Bill Platt as the evenings host held everything together with light humour and interesting facts about the upcoming sections, a grand job!

Choreography for the dancers sections was of a very good standard though sadly this didn’t follow through to the ensemble numbers. I know this is a bugbear for so many directors, and I have no doubt that the cast would have been given this note on more than one occasion but it does make such a huge difference to any performance if you look happy while you’re doing it! I know you all enjoy doing this hobby so please show us that in your performances and SMILE!

In the past, societies have struggled to sell tickets for this concept of show as revues can appear to be quite vague in in what they offer and it can be a struggle to engage interest from a cast perspective too, but there was no evidence of either of those points here as both the cast and the audience were fruitful in numbers.

Highlights of the show for me were Daniel Mellor’s renditions of ‘Bring Him Home’ from ‘Les Mis’ and ‘If I Were A Rich Man’ from ‘Fiddler’. Daniel was in a league of his own and delivered his tributes with high calibre. I enjoyed the dancers performance of ‘Chicago’ which looked slick, displayed the strong and recognisable fosse style very well while successfully exposing the dancers abilities. 

Deborah Holmes took on the role of ‘Musical Director’ for this production, you can guarantee it’s the MD who has the most work to do with revues such as these, and a grand job she did. The musicals chosen to exhibit in this production are all shows which have been written for full orchestras, so congratulations for delivering such musical styles with just 3 players! I especially appreciated the charming Overture she’d composed too, a great job!