Me and My Girl

Date 13th May 2023
Society Battle Amateur Theatrical Society
Venue Battle Memorial Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director David Sismore Co Director David Nicholles
Musical Director Oscar Smith
Choreographer Kim Sutton
Written By Rose & Furber

Report

Author: Anne Lawson

Built around a grand pile, ancestry ‘Noblis Oblige’, class, family and a young cockney couple very much in love the scene is set to bring wonderful characters to life with comedy, toe tapping music with an upper crust Duchess determined to transform the rightful heir into a gentleman and his determination to keep his gal.  A real feel-good factor with orchestra under the guidance of Oscar on keyboard  – a very encouraging, passionate young musical director with memorable ‘Put on a Little Smile’, ‘The Sun Has Got his Hat On’ ‘Leaning on the Lamppost’ and a rousing Lambeth Walk

Sadly, this was David’s last show which proved as sparkling as his last two winners.  The set was a replica of Battle Abbey depicted Hareford Hall. Outstanding design, build and artwork from the team with excellent large and small props provided that were unobtrusively moved by cast members.  The upstage central entrance worked neatly for the beautifully costumed ancestor’s scene and arch side exits.  A single lamppost stood proud for Bill’s number illuminated a glow, Chris Packham again providing good effects. Upgraded bold and expensive sound decision certainly was a good move – a difficult area to get right in this venue and  was the best ever. Words from principals and ensemble were sharp with a perfect orchestra balance.  Libby Grainger you are amazing.  Characters and ensemble came to live with superb costume.  Wonderful colours with well-chosen accessories with much attention to details in footwear, hair and head attire. Below stairs looking equally well uniformed. Bill’s signature brown bowler and bright waistcoat suited well as did Sally in red – delightful in mac and red beret. A ‘My Fair Lady’ finale. Wonderful pair of jodhpurs with riding boots the business and what fun with the regal Lords ermine trimmed cloak, coronet and the wrestling tiger! The ball ‘gallop’ perfect black/red effective too.  The Duchess looked regal and I loved the close hugging look and seductive night attire for manipulative Jacqueline. Hop and skipping family solicitor Parchester using his black tailcoat wings comical – and his specs. Who’s for croquet on the lawn or tennis whites yes Gerald the work-shy thwarted fiancé certainly fitted the bill – adding the moustache and central hair parting very good. Lambeth Walk full of character with the pearly kings and queens and even a delightful little one. Slick movement contrasting elegance and cheeky throughout with well-choreographed numbers that were using all available space, interesting and precise and with a sparkle.

Oli Albertella gave us a most lovable, agile and twinkling cheeky, whistling Bill with vivacious, confident  blond Nancy Dyer a delightful Sally capturing us, great comedy timing too. Their song and dance routines being well executed too. Stately Maria was played by Rosemary Walker – an impressive debut with the society with a wonderful air of authority melted by patient Sir John who loved her for so many years.  The Ancestors Noblis Oblige was a very strong, colourful number. David Nicholles - a very different John to that in ‘Calendar Girls’ – lovely truthful tipsy scene, plus performing a Asst Director  role. Seductive Jacqueline was created by Amelia Jolley enjoying her teasing settee romp with Bill. Seth Ringrose characterised dear Gerald with aplomb – great exaggerated movements  – such pomp. Hop a little and skip a little wonderfully developed character of the Family Solicitor Parchester from experienced performer Paul Webb – skipping holding the ends of his tailcoat magic! Comic Peter Elliott complete with perfect hair and beard, stoop and ear trumpet, always one step behind added further smiles. Charles the Butler – very proper, reduced to wonderful cockney rhyming slang another fine cameo Adrian Collins captured well. Finally, nosy parker landlady Mrs Brown – a dab hand with the bucket and scrubbing brush.  Very nicely enacted by Gemma James in headscarf and pinny. The members of the ensemble too had plenty of characters to create and ‘did their duty well’ together with the dancers captained by Evie set by Kim with a nice bit of tap and spooning. A thoroughly happy, toe-tapping musical professionally performed. Thank you backstage, unseen, hard-working members too enabling another BatTs splendid achievement.