Date 23rd April 2019
Society Melody Makers
Musical Director Eunice Parry
Choreographer Judith Jeffries
Producer Ralph Peters: Christine Peters



It was all systems go on the opening night of the Company’s presentation of Hello Dolly.  Accompanist, Eunice Parry, played the whole of the Overture without a note of music in front of her, WOW! This was an example of the commitment of the Society’s members and they must be congratulated in all departments for their efforts. The scenery was cleverly designed, constructed and managed by an experienced stage crew, each scene flowed from one to the next without pause. Lighting and sound were right on cue as usual with their professional team.  

The opening number ‘Call on Dolly’ made one sit up and take note as the Ensemble pulled out all the stops setting the high standard of the production. Juliet Berrigan triumphed with her portrayal as Dolly Levi (Gallagher), an enthralling performance of the widow. Juliet was articulate with the wordy script, spot on with all her musical numbers and kept her accent throughout. She led the Company in many numbers with highlights being ‘Before the Parade Passes By’  ‘Hello Dolly’, and her 2nd Act solo ‘So Long Dearie’ being memorable. Andrew Jones as Horace Vandergelder was a fine foil for Dolly, his ‘It Takes a Woman’ with the small chorus of men, fully deserved the accolade he received from the audience. Val Bamber and  Geraint Roberts worked well together as Irene Molloy and Cornelius Hackl respectively and Val’s ‘Ribbons Down My Back’ was impressive. Young Sacha Jones portrayed Minnie Fay confidently, and Nick Blakely gave a nervous performance as Barnaby Tucker, I liked the quartet ‘Elegance’. Good contributions to the production from Caroline Ward as Ernestina, Steven Blankley as Ambrose Kemper and Jamie Blakeley as the sobbing Ermengarde . I must also mention Carol Brown who has been a loyal member of Melody Makers for over 40 years. Carol took on two minor roles and was perfectly cast as Mrs Rose, together with her portrayal as Clerk in act 2, thus endorsing the importance of all minor roles.

I was full of admiration for Choreographer Judith Jeffries with the ‘Waiters’ Gallop’, such as small space but the teams of waiters were non-stop throughout, I was worn out watching the number, well done! The title number, ‘Hello Dolly’ number was well thought out. The chorus shone in all their tasks and the whole show was beautifully costumed. Yes! Co-Producers Ralph & Christine Peters should be justly proud of their efforts. It was a sheer delight to visit you once again. Congratulations and thank you everyone.