Date 28th April 2022
Society Milton Musical Society
Venue The Regent Centre, Christchurch
Type of Production Musical
Director Jonathan Shiner
Musical Director Alastair Hulme
Choreographer Kirsti Qarne and Anne-Marie Davies
Producer Jo Mansfield
Written By Tim Rice, benn Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus


Author: Mark Allen

Warmly greeted by the front of house team, I was ushered to my seat and settled in for what I hoped would be a good evening’s entertainment. I was not to be disappointed.

The overture started with a great sound led by Alastair Hulme the MD, and the curtains were drawn to reveal a simple set with stairs either side and a balcony at the back, all of which were used to full effect during the performance. Any scene changes were swift and efficient and we were left with very little black out. The costumes, mostly black and white to represent the colours on the chess board, with the exception of the Arbiter's assistants who were in deep green, added greatly to the setting. "One night in Bangkok" was the only real input of colour and the golds and reds really lit the stage.  The Arbiter's floor length coat was truly amazing.

The principal line up of Anne-Marie Davies as Florence Vassy along with Rossano Sal as the lovelorn Anatoly and Alan Colclough as the confident American all played their parts well with good diction, so the story could be easily followed. They were magnificently backed up by Julian Smith as the Arbiter, Martin Mansfield as Molokov and Bev Beck as Jacqueline De Coursey. The choreography was slick and to the point, with the chorus obviously having been well-rehearsed - no one looked out of place nor out of step and again the chorus were clear and strong with their vocal delivery.

Overall this was a very good show, one that I enjoyed. Well done Milton Musical Society you should be proud of this show.