Best of the '90s
|Date||26th May 2017|
|Society||Melksham Music and Drama|
|Venue||Rachel Fowler Centre, Melksham|
|Type of Production||Musical Review|
|Director||Joeanne Londors and Penelope Taylor|
Author: Dee Way
I do like the way that you vary the use of the space available in the Rachel Fowler Centre. This time the length of the hall was used as a performance area. This gave some good options for entrances and exits.
The Joint Directors put a show together that comprised some well-known music hits of the 1990s and two sketches, with a scripted introduction to each year of songs. The format worked very well, with plenty of changes of focus and a good variety of music. I did like the way the show logo was used on stage in a light box – it looked most effective. The use of a lectern for the introductions was good, again, changing the audience’s focus. The use of news of the individual years was a nice touch, together with events in politics and everyday prices. The mix of groups, duets and solos was well varied, with the two sketches spreading the focus nicely. I very much enjoyed the interaction with the audience at the end of the first half, when hats, masks, specs and moustaches were handed out while mock photos were taken on phones. That was fun!
The set was inventive, with the black curtaining each side and behind the playing area. I liked the hearts and DC sign on the curtain. Entrances and exits were to each side of the playing area and the centre aisle and sides of the hall. Against the black backdrop, the costumes were bright and vivid on the whole.
The music was mostly recorded, so it was good to see some guitars played onstage for ‘Poison’ and ‘Losing my Religion’. The sound worked very well with a good balance between the music and the singers, mostly using three general stage microphones. Only once was one of the singers difficult to hear. Lighting was good, following clear cues and enhancing the drama of some songs very well. The reminder of the year in the light box above the stage area worked very well.
The choreography was very good in places – which rather showed up the times when perhaps more could have been done. For example, where the first song had credit for choreography, there didn’t seem to be much movement at all. In other numbers, there were instrumental sections that could have included a lot more energetic moves. Having said that, many numbers were very well planned and performed, with invention and empathy.