Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
20th November 2017
The Brentwood Theatre
Type of Production
Author: Tessa Davies
Because this theatre is small and intimate it presents a challenge for scenery, but Brentwood Operatic have a lot of experience in dressing this stage and the standing set was well designed with clever additions for the individual scenes. It does prove that you do not need complicated scenery to make a production successful.
Telling the story of con men being themselves conned, the story is fast paced and Director Louise Byrne had the cast working hard throughout the show.
The show has a very strong cast, Martin Harris (Lawrence Jameson) brought a strong sense of class to the character, exactly as required and Allister Smith was an absolute delight as Freddie Benson. They had an excellent rapport and the contrast between the two characters was very well played. Kate Henderson played Christine Colgate beautifully, it’s a shame that I already knew the denoument, having seen the show before, but her performance was spot on, giving nothing away until the last minute.
Ian Southgate was outstanding as Andre Thibault and Lisa Harris was equally brilliant as Muriel Eubanks. I loved their duet and all the byplay during the second half of the show. Katy Evans played Jolene Oakes well, although I felt that her song was not really in her comfort zone, she did it well with great characterisation throughout. Sarah Woehrle completed the Principal line-up as Renee.
The ensemble was excellent throughout, not only performing well with some great characters, but also moving the scenery unobtrusively and with speed to maintain the pace of the show. The vocals were delivered well and the dances executed beautifully. I did feel that some of the choreography didn’t quite fit with the ‘feel’ of the show but it was all well done.
Costumes were good although the period of the play was not defined very strongly. I felt it was, probably set in the 1960’s (the date if the first production of this story) but that was just my personal impression. It didn’t feel like a modern-day story.
My thanks to the Front of House Team and Chairman Maggie Keel, for looking after us so well, it makes such a difference when a representative from the society spends some time with us in the interval, it gives me a chance to ask some questions and learn a bit more about the production.
Overall the show was excellent and deserved the almost full houses it was getting, Brentwood Operatic are building a strong reputation for good productions and this was another one the add to their growing reputation.