|Date||14th April 2015|
|Society||Essex Police Musical Society|
|Venue||Essex Police HQ|
|Type of Production||Musical|
Author: Alex Berriman
This happy go lucky show, with music from Cole Porter, was guaranteed to entertain you and EPMS did just that. A simple but effective set of a ship’s deck created levels which were used well throughout the show. Flats and props were brought on by (the slightly disorganised) stage crew to create other spaces like the cabins or jail cell!
The choreography had been created by Pam Corrie and was simple yet generally effective. The tap routine was a necessity but a few more rehearsals might have been helpful to make this a winning number.. The music, under the direction of Sue Edwards was well balanced and the band sounded great.
There were some particularly fine scenes, Let’s Misbehave with Reno and Sir Evelyn Oakleigh – Laura Mills and Paul Walker - were both believable in their relationship; very natural with good comic moments. A particular highlight for me was The Gypsy In Me. The relationship between Billy, played by Colin Day and Hope, played by Grace Ward, was also natural and shown to best advantage in All Through The Night. Colin played Billy in a comfortable way and had an air of confidence throughout. Jean Hurrell gave a good performance as the money-aware mother Evangeline and her relationship with Elisha Whitney, played by David Lye, was funny to watch as it changed throughout the evening. Michael Pearce gave a relaxed performance as Moonface Martin and although I lost some of his lines, he kept in character all the way through. Robbie Robertson played The Captain in a secure manner and had an air of seniority over the other sailors. It was clear that Kate Alliston really loved playing Erma, and took every opportunity to make the most of the character she had created. I loved the two Chinamen, although one of them didn’t quite act all the way into the wings.
The costumes were suitably extravagant as needed and worked well to create the overall picture of the wealthy guests on the cruise liner. The ensemble was always keeping up with the action on the stage and reacted well.
With such a fun storyline, with plenty of chaos created, it’s possible to overlook the occasional lost dialogue and drop in pace but let’s put that down to opening night nerves. This was a great production overall.