All Together Now
|Date||13th November 2021|
|Society||Tavistock Musical Theatre Company|
|Venue||Tavistock Town Hall|
|Type of Production||Concert|
|Musical Director||Rosemary Fox|
Author: Ryan Procter
After over a year in post as NODA Rep for district 3 through what has been a tremendously difficult and challenging time it was wonderful to finally get out and watch an actual live performance with an actual real audience instead of online via zoom.
All Together Now is a “Global event celebrating theatre” offered to nearly 5000 companies worldwide the chance to perform over the weekend Friday 12th – Sunday 14th November to give amateur companies the opportunity to put on a production royalty free and get back on their feet.
Tavistock Town Hall is a beautiful old venue though it is true that this venue poses some real significant challenges to overcome from a space and technical perspective that takes some creative thinking outside of the box to overcome. TMTC are no strangers to this venue and director Julian Bennett had some lovely creative ideas up his sleeve to bring this concert to life.
The lights dimmed and a pre-show introduction began featuring video projections from the heads of Music Theatre International and various musical composers sharing their vision and motivations behind the global event.
The show then opened with a full company rendition of “Pure Imagination” from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory featuring solos from various members of the company. From the darkness of the auditorium came the coloured lights of torches held by the company as they entered the stage and took up their positions. This was a lovely touch and really did capture my imagination as we were drawn into the magical world of live theatre. The only downside to this lovely show opening was that due to the darkness of the stage I couldn’t see any of the faces of the people taking the solo lines through the song. It would have been lovely to have had some form of lighting, even dimly, just to illuminate the soloists for these moments.
After a significant break due to COVID and having to postpone 2 shows it was clear to see just how much it meant to every member of the company to be back on stage and performing once again with one another with smiles all round. TMTC is the absolute embodiment of “community theatre” and they kept that community spirit throughout the entire production with every member of the company taking on solo lines in various songs.
There were some lovely elements of comedy added throughout this concert and my favourite moment must have been the battle of the solo as to who was going to sing “Tomorrow” from Annie. Would it be Julian as the man in charge, would it be Perdita as she had previously sung the song? No, it would be young Layla who steals the song from both of them and what a lovely rendition it was. Another moment that made me laugh, perhaps a little more than it should have, was seeing a stage full of grown adults singing “When I Grow up” a song all about what they will do when they have grown up. I guess the sentiment is true. What will we do when (if ever) we do finally “grow up”.
“I dreamed a dream” from Les Miserables was one of my favourite songs of the evening and featured the beautiful vocals of Soprano Olwen Keates. The other soloists in this song also had a lovely tone, though unfortunately as seemed to be common throughout the evening, it wasn’t always easy to hear all of them due to their positioning in relation to the microphones at the front of the stage.
The energy suddenly erupted from the company as we reached “Consider yourself” from Oliver and it was clearly a company favourite as the enjoyment oozed into the auditorium and left the audience feeling quite uplifted. My personal favourite of the full company numbers was “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins. It was lovely to see some choreography by Patti Stott throughout the many songs and this added a greater level of entertainment to the concert than simply having the cast stand and deliver. Exactly what I was hoping for.
Having had two almost full house audiences I sincerely hope this production has helped raise the much needed funds after an extended break to help keep this wonderful community theatre company running and I look forward to returning to Tavistock next year for their full musical production of “Elf”. Thank you for an enjoyable evening
Any observation made by the reviewer can only be based on what he sees at the performance in question. The reviewer may have received information in advance of the performance and it is inevitable that his assessment will be affected by that knowledge.
The NODA Representative’s intention is to give an objective critique of the overall production and in particular, the performance. It should be remembered that any review of this nature can only be objective as far as the techniques used during the performance observed. Any criticisms expressed may not have been valid at other performances and are only made to encourage higher standards in Amateur Theatre.
It is hoped that the audience’s appreciation of your efforts will have given everyone a lift and encouraged you to greater achievements in the future and that the observations made by the reviewer will prove helpful in improving future productions.