From Now On

Date 9th June 2022
Society West Kirby Musical Theatre Company (WKMTC)
Venue Heswall Hall
Type of Production Concert
Musical Director Rob Bowness
Accompanist Sally Bibby
Choreographer Deborah Clark

Report

Author: Joanne Rymer

From Now On

Heswall Hall

9th June 2022

What an evening was in store, West Kirkby Musical Theatre Company (WKMTC) really excelled its self this evening at Heswall Hall. Together with Wallasey School of Ballet (WSB) it was a night of musical theatre to remember. Master of Ceremonies Mike Ellis opened proceedings welcoming us all to Heswall Hall, wetting our appetites for the evening ahead.

Performing to a capacity audience on the Wirral, we were entertained with favourites and not so well known songs from Musicals from the 1930’s to 2021.

Gerry Johnston and the full company opened the show with the memorable ‘From Now On’ from The Greatest Showman. Mike Ellis introduced Erin Thurlow; a member of WSB since the age of 3, who sang ‘A Million Dreams’ a Greatest Showman favourite. Amy Duggen, Dawn Griffiths, Helen Roberts, Hannah Waywell, Maisie Rice and Jemma Durston gave a fabulous performance of ‘We’re Six’ from the 2021 musical about the wives of the Tudor king Henry V111 SIX. Congratulations this was a great performance.

A tribute to the genius that was Stephen Sondheim who passed away November 2021, beginning with’ Not while I’m around’ from Sweeney Todd was led by Nick Hawkswell. The full company gave their rendition of ‘Comedy Tonight’ from A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum and ‘George’ from Sunday in the Park with George. A fitting tribute from WKMTC

The musical Witches of Eastwick premiered in London 2007, the song from the show ‘Look at Me’ was splendidly performed by Tia Gill, Joanne Poston and Amy Duggan.

One of my own favourite songs is from Mary Poppins the musical, based on the 1964 Disney Film. One of the things I love most about the role of Mary Poppins is her confidence within herself. She doesn't claim to be perfect; she says she's practically perfect. Joanne Poston’s performance of the song ‘Practically Perfect’ was for me perfect. Beautifully timed and delivered, interacted with both the small children at her feet and the audience. Brilliant Jo!

Wallasey School of Ballet Principal Deborah Clark delivered an excellent programme for this concert, Anything Goes, Dancing Queen, Chim-Chim-Cheree, Singing in the rain all stunning dance performances from such talented young people. WSB not only dance but also sing,  ‘Wash that man right out of my hair’ from South Pacific an excellent choice, their coach Saul Danson directed for ‘I will follow him’ from the ever popular musical Sister Act. 

To close the first act only one musical will do, its Phantom of the Opera ‘Music of the night’ superbly sung by Saul Danson, and then followed by the full company with a Phantom medley. Outstanding

‘Circle of Life’ from the timeless musical The Lion King, which premiered in 1997, continued our musical journey in act 2, with full company plus the WSB.  A welcome newcomer to WKMTC Hannah Waywell sang ‘The Wizard and I’ from the 2007 musical Wicked. Two stalwart musical numbers followed; ‘Come follow the Band’ from the 1980 musical Barnum and’ All That Jazz’ from the 1986 Bob Fosse musical Chicago. What an outstanding performance from WSB for Chicago. Well Done

In September 2021 the musical Everybody’s talking about Jamie premiered at the Crucible Sheffield.  Jamie is a 16-year-old who doesn't quite fit in. Instead of pursuing a traditional career, he dreams of becoming a drag queen. Jamie’s mother is his total supporter. The song ‘My Boy’ is sung by Tia Gill, an outstanding emotional delivery. The sensation to hit us post pandemic Encanto; Encanto is the soundtrack album to Disney's 2021 film of the same name. Released by Walt Disney Records on November 19th 2021, the album contains eight original songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The song on everyone’s lips ‘We don’t talk about Bruno’ became an instant success; thank you Gerry Johnston, Nick Hawkswell, Amy Duggan, Dawn Griffiths, Kathy Jorden and Helen Roberts.

As Mike Ellis mentioned in his introduction, WKMTC planned production of Chess was cancelled. With reference to the popular musical two memorable songs were included in tonight’s concert. Joanne Poston and Tia Gill sang the very emotional ‘I know him so well’ followed by Saul Danson with the powerful ‘Anthem’.

The longest performing West End stage musical ‘Les Miserables’ 34 years and still packing them in gave John Phillips, Saul Danson, Amy Duggen, Gerry Johnston, Nick Hawkswell, Joanne Poston, Wendy Newton and Mike Ellis the  wonderful opportunity to sing the show favourite ‘One Day More’ . Not a dry eye in the house.

Follow that as they say, WKMTC did in spades; the 1966 Bob Fosse Sweet Charity gave us ‘The Rhythm of Life’ together with the WSB gave us a spectacular finale.

Praise must go to Rob Bowness for his arrangement and musical direction which was both imaginative and faultless! Congratulations, Rob. Congratulations must go to Sally Bibby who provided the fabulous accompaniment to this production.  A fine job indeed

Thank you for an evening of great musical theatre.

Joanne Rymer

NODA

District4.