Fab at 50!
|Date||14th September 2016|
|Society||Essex Police Musical Society|
|Venue||Essex Police HQ|
|Type of Production||Compilation|
Author: Alexandra Berriman
What an absolutely fabulous way to celebrate 50 years, and what a milestone to get to! First of all, congratulations on such a varied programme guiding your audience through your 50 year celebrations. Secondly, thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of those celebrations. From the moment I arrived I could feel the energy of the audience and performers.
A fitting opening from Kiss Me Kate, done in both 1982 and 2004 by EPMS, with lots of energy from everyone on the stage. James K performing Song of the Vagabonds was a particular highlight in this section with great light and shade to his performance; and I also loved the girls performing Happy Cows, they seemed to be having great fun in their welly boots!
In the second section The Mikado featured some lovely harmonies, and Tea for Two performed by Kayleigh and Zander was sung beautifully. I really enjoyed the comedy in It’s Never Too Late by Kate and Michael, and that section finished with Sally performing The Party’s Over which was genuine and heartfelt.
Nothing Like a Dame was a great start to the third section with lots of energy from the boys, matched by the girls in La Cucaracha! If I were a Rich Man was delivered well by Phil, with a good accent and a strong performance throughout. A lovely ending to Act 1 with You’ll Never Walk Alone from the whole company.
The second half was opened with the lively Lambeth Walk. Lots of fantastic songs followed, with a sweet delivery of As Long As He Needs Me by Grace W, 42nd Street featured some great tapping, finishing with Flash Bang Wallop! - a very energetic song with lots of activity and chances for people to sing out.
The final section opened with a group number from Thoroughly Modern Millie, a wonderful opening song. A great selection of songs in this final section, and some stylish dancing displayed in Hernado’s Hideaway; and some lovely individual performances particularly from Shannon, Kate and Lauren. A great finish with the ever popular Calamity Jane, with fantastic energy from everyone. It was clear everyone was enjoying their time on stage!
Aside from the performances, it was great to hear all the stories which joined everything together. I really liked hearing about all the insights and backstage stories, that we as an audience don’t usually get to hear about; and a charming way to keep the time moving forward!
The band sounded great together, and were skilfully led by MD Nik Graham. Sound and Lighting were generally complimentary to the excerpts. There were a few times when there was a mixture of those who were mic’ed and no mic’ed singing together which made it seem slightly unbalanced but generally we could hear what was being said. On a couple of occasions there were some really beautiful lighting states, but there were also a few moments where people were in the darkness which was a real shame.
Overall a great evening of entertainment, with a wonderful variety of shows being showcased for the 50th birthday celebrations. Congratulations to everyone involved in the production of the show, and here’s to another 50 years!