|Date||12th October 2019|
|Society||Stevenage Lytton Players|
|Venue||The Lytton Theatre|
|Type of Produc||Musical|
|Musical Director||Mike Payne|
Author: Angie Frost for Vicki Avery
I must start by saying thank you for the warm reception I got on my arrival and I was looked after very well by your organised front of house team. Curtains happens to be a favourite of mine it’s fun, lively, comical and has great music by John Kander and Fred Ebb.
As I was sitting in my seat listening to the overture I began to look around and wonder how an earth are they going to do this show on such a small stage. Well I wasn’t disappointed the curtains opened to a very lively chorus of Wide Open Spaces.
Musical Director ( Mike Payne) was in control of the show throughout. The recorded music did not take away the quality of the cast on stage. This was a good idea as there was no room for even a small band. The quality of the tracks were great with full orchestration and I feel the cast enjoyed performing to them.
Jessica Cranshaw (Carol Lee) gave a very comical performance I have never seen the humour in this part brought to life before, her comic timing and facial expressions were superb well done.
Georgia Hendricks (Sera Dinmore) gave a strong performance with singing, acting and dancing just right. I particularly liked her rendition of Thataway.
Aaron Fox (Chris Phelps) was just right in this role. He sang and acted well and I was very impressed when he actually played the piano during his song I Miss The Music, this was a pleasure to see and hear as the actor usually mimes playing the piano.
Oscar Shapiro (Bob Sulzbach) gave a good performance as the sole investor to the production Robin Hood with good comic timing and I liked his repour with Carmen.
Lt Frank Cioffi (Tom Beirne) I loved everything about this actor his stage presence and comic timing was excellent. He was believable and likeable and gave a Stirling performance. His clear diction was a pleasure to hear as you understood everything he said. This is a very wordy part but nothing seemed to faze him, well done fabulous performance.
Niki Harris(Tess Dowdeswell) This young actress was lovely to watch her performance was just right for the part of Nikki, Her connection with Frank was perfect and her singing and dancing was good. I loved her duet with Frank A Tough Act To Follow and I must Say hats off to the choreographer who had obviously worked on the pair in this simple but effective number well done.
Carmen Bernstein (Allie Neal) What can I say about this actress except bravo, she played the perfect Carmen with her portrayal of the brash and brassy Broadway producer. Her singing and acting was excellent and her comic timing was on the ball, a very enjoyable watch.
Christopher Belling (Andrew Lee) Was great as the English camp director, this was portrayed beautifully and very subtle with the camp not being too camp, this can often be overplayed but Andrews comic timing and performance was just right.
Bambi Benet (Emily Hodgson) This young actress did very well in the role not overplaying it as it usually is as the dumb blonde. Her dancing and singing was lovely. I liked her connection with Carmen (her mother in the show) some nice acting touches here well done.
SidneyBernstein (John Dunleavy) was you typical sleazy philandering producer rough around the edges. His acting was good and you believed he was this person well done.
Bobby Pepper (Joe Reddan) was lovely to watch his character built as the show went on and he worked with Georgia well. His singing and acting was good and he connected well with Bambi in her big dance number.
Daryl Grady (Peter Kirkby) played his part well as the smug theatre critic, who would have guessed he did it. I particularly liked his scene with the Knife when he was holding Niki this was directed very well and he gave a strong believable performance and didn’t overplay that scene well done.
All other supporting roles were perfectly cast What Kind Of man was well set and brought out the humour that is usually missed. I liked the song Thinking Of Him and how at the end the cast drifted on to listen to Georgia and clapping in support. The vocals in A Woman’s Dead were clear and diction was good bringing out the humour in this well written song.
Choreography by (Miroslava Budin-Jones) was well executed and brilliantly set in each number using all the available space on such a small stage. Her simple and effective choreography added to this production.
Lighting and costumes were in keeping with this production and the staging of In The Same Boat for the last round was good I enjoyed the boat coming on near the end of the number and noticed it was called The Lytton Belle a nice touch to personalise this production.
Director (Maxine Holmes) Had worked very hard on this production, every character being well cast and played perfectly. A lot of humour was brought out in this show and it was a pleasure to watch I enjoyed it very much. This is the first time I’ve seen this show being performed on such a small stage but I must say Curtains was a good choice and the company seemed to enjoy performing it.
Thank you for a lovely evening and I hope to see you all again soon.