Date 8th April 2022
Society Sunderland Theatre Company
Venue The Royalty Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Brian Leach
Musical Director Carl Heron
Choreographer Megan Crooks


Author: Helen Abraham

I was thrilled to once again be invited to attend Sunderland Theatre Company’s (STC) production of “Curtains” this week.  A show not often seen performed by amateur groups, which recently toured starring Jason Manford as the Detective Dan Cioffi and was staged close by at the Sunderland Empire.  A shame it’s not done more often as it’s incredibly apt for our groups and very entertaining for an audience to watch and try and figure out “Who Dunnit!?”

STC had perfectly cast this production.  I cannot imagine any other combination of cast in all honesty, everyone was absolutely perfect in their roles.  The stage is a difficult one for them as it’s a little snug but talented director Brian Leach as always maximises the space he had available. Brian is a superb director and always gets the best of his cast. There was a colourful interchangeable set from Border Studios and fabulous lighting provided by the always dependable Brightstar Light and Sound and sound from Northern productions.  The costuming was bright and colourful from AG Costumes and the Group’s own managed perfectly by Angela Crooks. All together it made a bright colourful set which the audience really enjoyed.

A new musical director has joined STC in Carl Heron who led the cast beautifully and certainly has brought the best out of their voices as the sound quality was fantastic.  Megan Crooks did an utterly superb job with very clever intricate interchangeable choreography which I loved, especially during “Thataway” which was absolutely marvellous.  Really clever and great use of the space you had, brilliant work Megan.  Well done to you both!

The entire cast without exception did an absolutely marvellous job.  There were big smiles, excellent characterisation, brilliant comedy, superb timing and fabulous voices throughout.  I really enjoyed “What Kind of Man” “The Woman’s Dead” and “Tough Act to Follow”, brilliant vocals but also great timing and satire throughout.

As always it’s hard in such a brilliant cast to pick out special mentions as such given the entire company was just so strong but my attention was certainly taken by Lois-Lorraine Smith as Bambi.  My initial thought was; ”where did she come from?”  Such a young girl playing a great character part with a long difficult dance routine, she really owned the stage while she was on it.  Well done!  Also a stand out performer consistently is Rebecca Crackett as Carmen Bernstein.  Rebecca’s voice is superb but her expressions were really able to come through with this particular part being played which the audience appreciated very much.  Also Daniel Dryden as the flamboyant director Christopher Belling – brilliant character portrayal Daniel, seriously good.  Well done! 

This was incredibly funny throughout with impeccable timing by all cast, very cleverly written with “In The Same Boat” bringing everything together for the big reveal of the killer at the end!  I’ll not spoil the surprise for you all but definitely recommend this show for groups, performers and audiences alike to enjoy.