|Date||13th April 2019|
|Society||Inspirations Theatre Co|
|Venue||The Hasland Playhouse|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Melanie Gilbert|
|Choreographer||Joshua Mason (assisted by Emily Skill, Bekah Petrillo, Gabrielle Mason & Chloe Nunnington|
Author: Amanda Hall NODA East Midlands Youth Advisor (for Joyce Handbury
Power, passion, comedy and tears, this production of Chicago had it all. The scene is set with a spot lighting up a bowler hat on a chair, just as it should be. Mollie Myhill as Roxie Hart is very comfortable on the stage. She brings us the many sides of this fascinating character, pulling the strings of those around her with confidence and skill. Her ever loving husband, Amos Hart, is very well played by Evan Mason. He is controlled and calm with just the odd burst of fire and has us in the palm of his gloved hand with ‘Mr Cellophane’. Chloe Nunnington (Velma Kelly) has superb vocals that are chrystal clear and powerful. We feel sorry for Velma as the new kid on the block arrives and takes over as the ‘celebrity criminal’ but this leads to a fabulous duet with Roxie towards the end of act two. Billy Flynn & Mama Morton (Andrew Haslam & Elisabeth Unwin) also switch their priorities from Velma to Roxie. Andrew has a charm as Billy and a lovely singing voice for ‘All I Care About Is Love’ as does Elisabeth in ‘When You’re Good to Mama’. A highlight of this production was the ‘Cell Block Tango’, Gabrielle Mason (Liz), Lauren Turner (Annie), Bekah Petrillo (June), Emily Skill (Hunyak), Ruby Bircumshaw (Mona) & Chloe, were individually fabulous in bringing their characters to life. The Fosse styled choreography was exactly the right amount of edgy sex & sass and was performed with confidence along with a strong balance of voices. Mary Sunshine, the tabloid columnist, was excellently played by Amy Thorpe ‘A Little Bit of Good’. Amy has a commanding presence on the stage which led to a fabulous reveal of costume. Shannon Foss (Kitty), Kian Mosley (Fred Casley) and the ensemble of Connor Lovatt, William Cousins, Sadie Woods, Mattilde Stokes, Matt Szadura and Cerys Johnson provided great company support with slick routines and fabulous vocals and harmonies. I particularly liked the members of the Jury, yes all of them!
Generally this young company were fully focused on this wonderful production directed by Joshua Mason which benefitted greatly from the vocal work done by Melanie Gilbert and the Fosse style choreography by Joshua, Emily, Bekah, Gabrielle & Chloe. Costumes were excellent with a minimal but very effective set. Fantastic lighting design by Daryl Hoare enhanced every scene & routine, and Chris Grimshaw as Sound Engineer balancing well the voices and the backing. With sell-out shows for the whole week I’m sure this will be a memory that the whole company will take with them for a long time to come.