Meet Me in St. Louis

Date 2nd May 2018
Society Worthing Musical Comedy Society
Venue Connaught Theatre, Worthing
Type of Production Musical
Director Caroline Lowe
Musical Director Nigel Newman
Choreographer Rachel Brown

Report

Author: Jose Harrison

Plenty to take on for this show but this Society successfully rose to the occasion as always. Caroline used the stage very well, especially during the interesting opening, making the most of all access points to create easy movement and later enabling larger numbers of performers to be displayed efficiently. Nigel made good use of the musical opportunities with good interpretation, creating a lovely sound from stage and pit. Well done Sarah Milner and James Reynolds for providing musical accompaniment on stage. The delightful music helped considerably to make this rather dated show such a winner. Add to that the wonderful costumes, clever lighting, well balanced sound and an efficiently run stage team and, no wonder this musical play was so good.  I call it that because the acting of the story was as important as the musical numbers and although the story line is a bit thin, the acting on this occasion was superlative. Rachel, I must complement you on some excellent dance routines which managed to work incredibly well despite the risk of overcrowding.

There were great performances from Matthew Collins and Amber Kelly as John Truitt and Esther Smith vocally and dramatically, both individually and as a team. Amber was like a shining star especially with her many songs. Kiarnie Camp and Rhys Dunn were the perfect couple to play her older sister and the love of her life, Warren, making a fine partnership. Jack Winrow was superb as their older brother, a lovely part to play suiting him down to the ground as he is a natural with humour. Another delightful pair was Vicky Scales and Mark Barnes as their parents both totally convincing in their demanding roles, her as the typically gentle mother and him as the Victorian father expecting all his children to feel the same as him. Their two youngest offspring, played by Amber Gibbons and Gracie Hodson-Prior, were both enchanting, singing and acting outstandingly for their age. (Edie Holmes and Lottie Sicilia performed equally well on the alternate evenings, I’m told). Add to this excellent cast Denis Fuller, Carol Brooker and Polly Lewis and a massive ensemble all looking, singing and acting with great professionalism being in fine voice throughout.

 This was great entertainment, which can only have resulted from very good planning, preparation and not a little dedication. Well done Caroline, I loved it.