Miracle on 34th Street
|Date||4th December 2015|
|Society||South Moor Musical Theatre Group|
|Venue||Alun Armstrong Theatre, Stanley|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Nigel Brown|
Author: Michelle Coulson
This musical version of the story of Susan, a little girl who doesn’t believe in Father Christmas until she meets the Santa Claus that works in her mum’s department store Macy’s, loosely sticks to the original film story but there are a few plot changes and different character names. The score was unfamiliar (to me) with the exception of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”, but this was indeed a festive feel good show. The many changes of scene were achieved with a revolving set; the costumes, the orchestra and the sound balance were good.
There was fine support throughout from the strong chorus and children’s chorus and very good cameo performances by Russell Rafferty as Mr Sawyer, Glynis Oliver as Miss Crookshank, Jim Arden as Judge Group, and the 3 Marine friends played by Nick Goddard, Dave Bowerbank and Chris Coates as well as the many other supporting roles who were all integral to the success of the piece.
The role of RH Macy was in the capable hands of Peter Johnson who seemed to relish every moment as the brash, but ultimately kind hearted corporate giant. He was ably assisted by Valerie Barnes as his PA Tammy O’Halloran and Ian Mordue as the camp and loveable employee Marvin Shelhammer. Marvin was a definite favourite with the audience and the “Plastic Aligators” number was a riot.
The Court room scenes make up the majority of the second act and these were played out perfectly with the scenes being superbly led by Gareth Lilly as Thomas Mara DA.
Lindsey Kellegher was delightful as Doris Walker, Susan’s hard working mother, who falls for her new neighbour Fred Gaily, played with sensitivity and warmth by Andrew Howe. There were some lovely tender moments in the relationships portrayed between Doris, Fred and Susan. Ken Allan was perfectly cast as Kris Kringle; he looked convincing and his warm, companionate acting skills won everyone in the audience over. The relationship between his character and that of Susan was convincing and their scenes a delight to watch. Lucy Conroy as Susan gave an assured performance; her singing, dancing and acting were all en pointe, this young lady is one to watch.
What a great way to start the Christmas season, congratulations to everyone involved. #Iamabeliever