Around the World in 90 Years

Date 30th March 2017
Society Ponteland Repertory Society
Venue The Memorial Hall, Ponteland
Type of Production Concert
Director Deborah Barry

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Author: Michael L. Avery

I always enjoy a good concert, a couple of hours stuffed choc-full of familiar music.  This was definitely a good concert and everything was within my list of personal favourites although I must still confess Gilbert and Sullivan is something of a foreign land for me.  However, the choice of Three Little Maids from the Mikado was a good choice and entertainingly performed. The show was built around two ideas – shows presented by Ponteland Repertory Society over the last 90 years and, secondly, a nostalgic trip around the world based upon songs from those operettas and musicals.  It worked very well, including the two “audience members” (Ann Lewin and Isobel Wind) who took their seats on the stage and commented throughout on proceedings, for the benefit of the rest of the audience.

It is difficult to comment on each excerpts and those taking part in them, so I intend to take a global look at the production, mentioning a few names in passing.  Suffice it to say that everybody involved managed to impart to the audience what was required of them.  The early days were represented by the aforementioned G&S, which I enjoyed despite my continued shocking lack of knowledge.  The subsequent musicals were easier for me to appreciate.

I was particularly impressed by The Preppies, a Junior Section of the company.  I understand they were formed in 2014 with 6 members.  The number has now grown to an impressive 45 or so and a reasonable number of them are actually boys, with several of the older members moving into the main company.  A very laudable achievement.  Ages range from approximately 9 to 18.

I also enjoyed Lucy Walton’s version of The Sound of Music which she delivered well giving a very nice performance.  With such dependable adults as Johnny Woollett, Jonathan Cash, Katie Howes, Brian Barry, Joe Costigan and many others in the ensemble this was a very professional and enjoyable concert, an evening of memories.  The company and all involved in the production, especially Musical Director (and more) Deborah Barry who, I believe, strung the whole thing together, deserve high praise for their efforts.