HAIRSPRAY

Date 10th April 2015
Society Rhyl & District Musical Theatre Company
Venue PAVILION THEATRE, RHYL
Director Claire Jones
Musical Director Craig Price
Choreographer Claire Jones

Report

Author: Lyn Emmerson

This musical is a big challenge for any society and I cannot praise highly enough this production we witnessed of what, at this particular time, is a very popular piece. A very strong cast supported by talented dancers and chorus was a winning combination to say the least, and the Company ‘wowed’ the audience with professional characterisations throughout the evening.

The enviable role of Tracy Turnblad was in the hands of Jess Griffiths, whose portrayal of the plus-sized teenager from Baltimore was truly outstanding. Appearing and dancing on the Corny Collins Show was her one desire in life, and Jess demonstrated her talents in all aspects of Musical Theatre, bringing out the character of this dizzy teenager. Never off the stage, Jess gave an exhaustive performance in this role, her singing and dancing were spot on and she led the Company with gusto in many musical  numbers including the ever popular ‘Good Morning Baltimore’ and the finale ‘You Can’t Stop The Beat’ – Well Done!. Rob Stevens as Edna Turnblad was perfectly cast and it was evident his stage experience encouraged other members of the cast. Rob carried off this difficult role with aplomb, never faltering and maintaining the motherly relationship with Tracy throughout the piece. Another ‘hit’ for George Kelly as Tracy’s father, Wilbur Turnblad and his duet with Edna ‘You’re Timeless To Me’ was a highlight, with both characters bringing that hint of nostalgia in both their singing, and the choreography that was set – excellent. I have seen Jane Crinigan in many roles and she always turns up trumps, her portrayal of Velma von Tussle was no exception she brought the correct amount of venom to the role as the mother of spoilt, bitchy daughter, Amber von Tussle, cleverly played by Lizzie Ryder. 

Amy Robinson brought the required amount of naivety and innocence in her portrayal of Penny Pingleton, Tracy’s best friend, and James Pagett was well cast as heart throb and hero Link Larkin. Brilliant performance from Pete Williams as TV host Corny Collins, who put his mark on his character from his first entrance. Ashley McAllister is so versatile on stage, he can turn his hand to any role and his portrayal of Seaweed J Stubbs was always a reliable choice. I must congratulate Ruth Jones on her characterization of Motormouth Maybelle, a truly magnificent performance, wonderful earthy, gritty singing which added to the way she played this covetous role and brought her the accolade she deserved from the audience. Sophie Baker, Heather Ramsay and Sam-Jay Hilson fully justified their selection as Little Inez, Prudy Pingleton and Mr Pinky respectively, together with the other minor roles.

I cannot praise highly enough the choreography set by the Director in any of the chorus numbers, Councillettes, Dynamites, Pinky’s Ladies and Seaweed’s Gang were so well rehearsed ,they threw themselves into this production from start to finish. I liked the 1960’s costumes with much detail  paid to the hairstyles of everyone on stage. A fabulous night out, anyone who didn’t see it missed out on a truly professional production, which resonated throughout the theatre. FAB U LOUS.