17th October 2015
Berwick-upon-Tweed Amateur Operatic Society
Th Maltings, Berwick
Type of Production
Author: Kathryn Curry
From the opening of this production of ‘Hi-de-Hi’ we were transported into the manic atmosphere of the holiday camp experience by a very convincing team of ‘Yellow Coats’ and supporting characters. The set was simple but very effective, creating the perfect ‘Maplins’ holiday camp ambience. Props and costumes were most authentic. The Addition of ‘Rena and the Ramonas’ covering scene changes was an innovative idea and worked well, though singers could have been a little nearer the microphone.
We all remember the TV series of Hi-de-Hi with fondness and chuckled at the individual characters, and in this production the various roles were very well cast indeed. Knowing most of the actors on the stage, it was obvious that they had done lots of research into their characters as they were all out of their comfort zones. They kept us laughing throughout the whole of the show and their comic timing was excellent. Accents were extremely good from all the individual characters.'Jeffrey Fairbrother’ the dithering, dippy camp manager was played by Robert Wilkinson. He has super comic timing and was, as usual, very funny and very convincing. ‘Gladys Pugh’ was the perfect part for Lisa Summers. Lisa had researched the accent for this part meticulously and delivered every line perfectly and is to be highly commended for her performance. Diane Renner played ‘Peggy Ollerenshaw’ and was hilarious. Diane has never played a comic role before, and we need to see her playing more as she was a super ‘Peggy’. Another excellent portrayal of a character was Ray Howell playing the money making schemer ‘Ted Bovis’. He is certainly not like this in real life!! Michael Mclean as ‘Spike Dixon, Laura Caterall as ‘Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves, Simon Landels as ‘Barry Stuart-Hargreaves and Paul Rooney as ‘Mr. Partridge all gave stalwart performances. In particular Paul had an excellent accent and, as ever, Simon milked his part and was hilarious! ‘Sylvia Garnsey’ was ably played by Nicola Foggin and could have been the TV Sylvia. Though a small part, Slink Jadrendo played ‘Fred Quilly’ with ease and was clear and good in the role. ‘Yellow Coats’ Susan Potts, Georgina Faed and Debbie Frizzel were super and kept the audience involved. Supporting cast Olive Summers, Dave Telfer and Steven Scott all added to the camp atmosphere in their minor roles. Special mention must go to Val Sanders playing ‘Hilary’ the ex-wife of Ted Bovis. Val has been in the society for many, many years and this was her first speaking role and she did so well. Speaking clearly and giving ‘Ted’ a right doing for not paying monies to her.
This was a slick and very funny production and obviously enjoyed by the appreciative audience. ‘Hi-de-Hi’ to you all and very well done to everyone involved in the production.