Aspects of Love

Date 5th April 2014
Society York Musical Theatre Company
Venue Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York
Type of Production Musical
Director Paul Laidlaw
Musical Director Paul Laidlaw
Choreographer -

Report

Author: Terry Harrison

The clue was in the programme. Whereas rehearsal photographs usually show the Company practising some dance routines, in this case we saw them standing (yes, standing), scores in hand, working on Lloyd Webber’s sometimes complicated music. For this is essentially a show for singers and for three or four principals in particular.

Their efforts were not in vain and we were thoroughly entertained by this superb production.  Never one of the composer’s most popular works, there is nevertheless some excellent music which was performed with great skill by the cast, particularly the two main characters, Rose (Toni Feetenby) and Alex (Matthew Ainsworth).  They were well supported by  Richard Bainbridge as George, Jessa Liversidge as Giulietta and teenagers Natalia and Eleanor Leaper as the younger and older Jenny.

This is, of course, a “sung-through” show and there are some occasionally unusual musical intervals within the recitatives, all of which were accomplished with apparent ease by this cast.  Throughout (and in this type of show that word means what it says) they were accompanied most sympathetically by an excellent 12-piece orchestra, mainly woodwind and strings. 

The story moves on in a number of sometimes quite short scenes which might have been difficult with conventional changes to be made but this production instead used a pixel wall which altered the background with all the speed of changing channels on a TV set.  The result was some very colourful effects, particularly as we flew from Paris to Venice and later a beautiful sunset behind a funeral scene with the cast costumed entirely in black and red, the total effect of which was quite stunning. 

The Society is to be congratulated on their initiative in being amongst the first to stage the show and for their innovative presentation of it.  Meanwhile, with “Anything Goes” scheduled for the Autumn, the work of their dancers will doubtless occupy a few pages in the next programme!