Face The Music
|Date||28th February 2015|
|Venue||Cambourne Village College|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Joe Griffiths|
Author: Julie Petrucci
Festival Players 2015 concert tour was well into gear when I saw the penultimate performance at the brand new Cambourne Village College.
Face the Music featured songs from stage and screen and in line with previous concert tour programmes had mixed well known shows with the newer and more modern ones. Some shows I was unfamiliar with like Bombshell (of which The New York Times said: "Bombshell doesn’t exist, but Its songs are real hits”), The Wild Party which I don’t think has yet “crossed the pond” but which, in 2004, was produced as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Delicious which my research tells me was a 1931 film.
Over the last few years Festival Players have taken up the modern musicals banner but are still very aware that audiences often prefer music they are familiar with. Director Cat Nicol obviously had that in mind when setting the eclectic programme as we had old favourites from Singing in the Rain, 42nd Street, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Crazy for You etc. mixed in with some of the very latest West End musical like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Aida.
Happily for me there was no Sondheim but we had a good selection from many popular musicals although I couldn’t quite see where Sweet Child of Mine fitted in, it seemed out of step with the format. I wasn’t too sure either about Let Me Be Your Star from Bombshell (although well done) as an opening number: however Jet Set (from Catch Me If You Can) was fun and whetted our appetite for what was to come and what we got was a real treat. Some superb soloists and some excellent ensemble work.
This was a faultless company consisting of singers Sam Billing, Lauriane Borde, Janice Chambers, Lucy Cheke, Warren Clark, Rich Evans, Daisy Gill, Jodie Houghton, Alistair Horne, Owen Kivlin, Dan Lane, Cathy Matthews, Emma Ollis, Danielle Padley, Andrew Ruddick, Emma Vieceli and Roger Wood, who, with us, all enjoyed the most excellent support of MD Joe Griffiths on keyboard and on the drums Oliver Fisher. Technical director Martin Avery as well as lighting the large acting area to its best effect also provided excellent sound effects where necessary. Compliments too on the choreography (or movement) which kept the movement fluid and interesting.
Concert performances are challenging but Festival Players have it nailed. Resplendent in evening/cocktail dress the performers moved swiftly on and off the stage creating a virtually seamless feast of musicality. This was a slick show, well thought out with some fabulous singing.
Next up for Festival Players is The Secret Garden at the ADC Theatre 28 May to 6 June and I have heard on the grapevine that they have the rights to Legally Blonde in 2016. I can’t wait.
Congratulations to all involved in Face the Music we all had a great evening.