Best of the West – A West End Musical Extravaganza

Date 4th March 2022
Society Ewhurst Players
Venue Ewhurst Village Hall
Type of Production Compilation
Director Meg Bray
Musical Director Simon Fraser
Choreographer Meg Bray

Report

Author: Kay Rowan

Best of the West – A West End Musical Extravaganza – an exciting title and an exciting evening travelling through some of the best musicals ever written.  It must have been difficult deciding what to leave out.  The directors, Meg Bray and Simon Fraser, are to be congratulated on such a fine evening with such fine performers.  The wide range of ages amongst the cast was particularly noticeable and indicates the strength and depth of this society – many with a great future. Despite the space taken up by their tiered seating they still managed to perform both in the round and upon the stage without any loss of seats.

The limited number of props were well managed and essential.  There was superb use of a variety of curtains – someone was certainly busy putting all the rails up!  Simple but effective use of curtains. The sound and light gallery situated at the back of the hall up a steep ladder produced some fine effects.  Good use of general mics but well controlled.  The lighting was at all times appropriate for the scenes although occasionally the faces at the front of the stage were a in shadow.

One of the problems with a compilation show is how to develop the costume plot without breaking the rules for performance.  This production was most diligent.  All the ladies were so well dressed in colourful T shirts with coloured or black calf-length skirts. - well sourced from you know where and I gather they may not be suitable for washing however they looked really good.  I would have liked to see them the day all the girls stood on the stage and the skirts were all cut to the same length – dedication to detail.  The men were similarly dressed in black trousers with coloured or white T shirts.  The odd scarf or shawl changed the setting perfectly.

The band of three played well together and provided very good support for the singers without drowning anyone out – not easy in a small venue.  The musical score appeared seamless especially the links between scenes.

The difficulty for me is that I cannot mention everyone individually – for everyone involved gave their all and performed to a very high standard both those on and those off stage.  They were a credit to themselves and their directors.  From the opening of ‘There’s no business, like show business’ to the final chord of the selection from Les Miserables the audience was enthralled and transported far away from our everyday problems.  The Young Rising Stars section was particularly delightful as all performed exceptionally well and showed what a great talent there is in the wings for future Ewhurst Players productions. The subtitle of this show was West End Musical Extravaganza – indeed it certainly came up to one’s expectations.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this performance