Hello Dolly!

Date 10th March 2018
Society Cockett Amateur Operatic society
Venue The Taliesin
Director Kathryn Wheel
Musical Director Jonathan Lycett
Choreographer Julie Hemming


Author: Luke Spencer

Well, with all the amateur productions of Sister Act, 9 to 5, The Addams Family, Hairspray and the like it is wonderful to see some companies revisiting the time-honoured musicals of years gone by.

So, a big BRAVO to Cockett AOS for giving us Hello Dolly! Immortalised by Barbra Streisand in the film and taken on stage by many, including Danny La Rue who performed the title song on ‘Live at Her Majesty’s’, this story takes us back in time and the company gave us fabulous costumes, an incredible set and of course the divine songs of the show which all came together to delight the audience with a lovely production of this musical.

My first mention must go to the fabulous ensemble as they were brilliantly focused on stage and produced a good vocal sound. The audience were wowed during the Waiter’s Gallop with a choreographic feast of acrobatics and special thanks must go to Julie Hemming for her expert hand in this and to the company for giving it their all. There were lovely performances by Elizabeth Stockton as Mrs Rose, Mark Warren as Rudolph and Beverley Harris as Ernistina and mention must go to Chloe Leigh Thomas as the ever tearful Ermengarde and Sean Kwok as Ambrose.

The younger lovers were well-played by Saul Wood as Cornelius and Sarah Clatworthy as Irene, and Josh Crawshaw as Barnaby and Rachael Clee as Minnie. They all had great rapport on stage and gave us some lovely moments of comedy and tenderness.

And so we come to our final two characters, Horace Vandergelder and of course Dolly Levi herself. As theatre goers in and around Swansea we have come expect great things of the two performers that played these roles and indeed we was not disappointed. Ken Thomas gave us a brilliantly curmudgeonly performance, being won over by Dolly in the end, and of course we were treated to the excellent acting and vocal ability of Joanne Griffiths as the perfect Dolly.

Many thanks to the company for a lovely evening of entertainment!