Half A Sixpence
26th January 2013
Shenfield Operatic Society
Queens Theatre, Hornchurch
Type of Production
Author: Tessa Davies
This show is a perennial favourite and has a number of Principals which ensure that society members get a chance to shine, and shine they did. From the moment he walked onto the stage James Sinclair (Kipps) had us in the palm of his hand. I have rarely seen an actor more suited to a part and his energy levels and impeccable performance were maintained throughout the show.
Rick McGeogh (Harry Chitterlow) produced some wonderful comedy moments and proved a perfect foil to James when they were working together. The three shop boys, Jack Lloyd (Buggins) David Pridige (Sid) and David Ward (Pearce) made a good team and their performances were most enjoyable. All the rest of the cast worked really hard and it was clear that the whole company were thoroughly enjoying being in the show. The ensemble produced some nice characters through the show, making it interesting and varied to watch.
I must mention the children in the show; Director David Street used just enough to fulfil the requirements of the script without crowding the stage with children. The two playing Young Kipps (Ben Horne) and Young Ann (Sophia Lilleystone) projected well, we could hear their dialogue clearly and they looked confident onstage. The other two children that I saw in the Saturday evening performance also made a good impression on the audience. All four displayed good stage skills and plenty of confidence.
The costumes were outstanding, with many of the cast having a number of changes, and all were absolutely right for the period. The band produced a good supporting sound, without drowning the performers and the singing was to a good standard throughout the show. When I am reviewing a show it is a good sign when the lighting and sound do not stand out. They are meant to complement the production and, in this show, that is exactly what they did.
Having reviewed this company’s shows over the past couple of years I would say that the entire company have stepped up a level in their performances, making this production very enjoyable indeed. Well done Shenfield Operatic, I look forward to the next production.