|Date||25th November 2022|
|Society||Worcester G & S Society|
|Venue||The Norbury Theatre, Droitwich|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Rachael Hall|
|Written By||Fraser Charlton|
Author: Bruce Wyatt
Humbug is a musical adaptation of Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ with songs from Gilbert & Sullivan and other works by Sullivan interwoven into the script to enhance the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, well known for his miserly ways. Add to that a sprinkling of Christmas and Becky Fearnley’s debut direction puts you in the mood for the upcoming season.
Following a tuneful opening with ‘God rest ye merry gentlemen’ with some nice harmonies, we meet Scrooge himself and a host of other characters plus a narrator (Berny Murray), 27 in all, in addition to 6 other members of the chorus. Although Scrooge (Colin Potter) had some absorbing dialogue, the main strength of this production fell to the singing with some highlights in both acts, amongst a total of 23 musical numbers.
In act 1, I include; ‘On a tree by a river’ sung by Fred & Bess (Daniel Chorley & Bev Butler), ‘When the night wind howls’ sung by Marley (Colin Wilkes), ‘Come Away’ sung by the Ghost of Christmas Past (Lisa Adams) and ‘Be happy all’ sung with good presence by Fezziwig (Tim Goodall).
The set was simple in design and colour was added with some good-looking costumes and lighting. What I was also pleased to see, was an increase in younger members of the cast, which many societies are hopeful of, and I look forward to seeing them develop as time goes on.
In Act 2, I particularly enjoyed ‘For the merriest fellows are we’ sung by the Ghost of Christmas Present (Paul Ellis) and the chorus. I also enjoyed ‘When the budding bloom of May’ sung by Topper (Mark Tooby) ,Clara (Catherine Watton), Bess and Fred. I must also mention ‘Things are seldom what they seem’ from HMS Pinafore, sung by Joe and Mrs Dilber (Tim Goodall & Christine Davies) .
‘Coventry Carol’ when the chorus sang surrounding the grave of Tiny Tim was quite atmospheric and ‘If Saphir I choose to marry’ from Patience sung by Fred, Scrooge, Bess, Topper and Clara was another good number. The production concluded with ‘Hark the herald angles sing’ which the audience were invited to join, having seen Scrooge discover that there is still time to change into someone generous and kind hearted.
Thank you for the usual warm welcome and I look forward to the 50th anniversary production next year, of The Mikado’,