19th October 2016
Type of Production
Author: Terry Harrison
Such is the reputation of this Society and its production team that they are able to attract performers from a wide area. The result is a highly polished and energetic production which overflows with the abundance of talent at its disposal. When the story concerns the lives of a number of students the majority of the cast should be fairly young and this is certainly the case here. Nevertheless, many of them have considerable stage experience in spite of their comparative youth.
The music will not be to everybody’s taste and with few, if any, of the songs lingering in your head as you leave the theatre, I doubt that they will still be heard in 20 years’ time. The accompaniment in this production is provided mainly by recorded tracks which tended towards being over-amplified at times and this, coupled with a heavy beat, made it difficult to catch all the lyrics, particularly in the opening numbers which, quite correctly, went at a rare pace.
All that apart, however, it’s a feel-good, happy show, almost completely sung through with a number of comic touches to brighten the evening. We were treated to some superb performances, particularly from Brogan Hollindrake, a genuine blonde, in the title role of Elle, a huge part whereby absences from the action are only there to facilitate costume changes. To say that she totally inhabited the part is rather an understatement and she gave us an entirely believable portrayal of a girl, initially smitten by a boyfriend who is about to dump her, but latterly proving the equal of any of the legal eagles with whom she comes into contact. I also enjoyed the performance of Lucy Evans as Paulette, a woman-of-the-world who keeps our heroine from straying too far from the straight and narrow and eventually finds true love for herself in the form of a hunk of a UPS delivery man, hilariously played by Luke Wilby. Sound performances came from Richard Upton as the sure-of-himself first boyfriend and Ed Leigh as the ultimate love of Elle’s life, a rather shy and much more diffident individual.
Contrasts in character between each of the two women and also between the two men were well captured whilst the whole production zipped along at a great pace with some energetic dance routines executed to perfection by a large team of dancers. This Director has the knack of drawing fine performances from her principals whilst still offering the entire cast opportunities to display their skills with all the enthusiasm you could ask for.
All the amateur societies using this theatre over the next few months have chosen modern shows (even the G and S Society will set its production in the 1950s) but this, the first of them, has set a high standard which will be difficult to match.