18th November 2017
The Quay Theatre
Type of Production
Author: Hazel Hole
I was welcomed by the Chairman, Barry Bridges, who briefly outlined the production. It was written for the company by Chris Lowe who then directed the production and also performed in the show.
The storyline revolves around the imminent merger of 2 theatre groups, one larger and more affluent than the other. The members of the smaller group are divided between those who welcome the merger and those who are unsure. Favourite and well known songs from a variety of musicals are linked into the story and contribute to the plot.
The opening number was Pure Imagination (hence the show title) performed by Chris Lowe, rather a gentle song for the opening but then the company erupted on to stage with a great rendition of Another Op’nin ,Another Show.
In fact the company numbers were, without exception ,lively and well performed, with firstclass choreography by Vanessa Tatum.
Musical direction, under Ann Platten was highly skilled and drew out the tremendous musical talents of the cast. Ann also provided the accompaniment, ably assisted in some numbers by Elizabeth Cobb on the flute which offered a gentle but haunting backdrop to the more tender and sensitive numbers.
Savannah Love really belted out Somebody To Love (We Will Rock You ) and Lewis Miller impressed with his interpretation of Oh What A Circus( Evita ) and The American Dream ( Miss Saigon )
Cell Block Tango ( Chicago) was fast and suitably raunchy and I must specially mention Molly Roberts who, with just one hour of rehearsal , stepped into this number on Saturday to cover for Tori Harvey who was ill. Well done, Molly !
Tim Bloomfield added a touch of Gilbert and Sullivan with a strong rendition of The Mikado Song.
Chris Lowe sang Stars (Les Miserables)in a poignant and dramatic manner.
In fact all the cast who performed solos and/or duets did so very well and appeared to be thoroughly enjoying the show !
Stage Manager Clive Clark did a sterling job with the set which basically featured the dressing room of the theatre company and lighting, technical and sound support was effective, (Joe Fawcett and Ann Roberts )
Costumes were colourful and appropriate to the particular musical (Irene Debono) and front of house team (Aileen Stirling and Barry Bridges) were most welcoming.
It was refreshing to see the musical accompaniment as supportive and encouraging to the cast rather than overpowering, as seen in some musicals. Well done Ann for achieving the right balance.
Congratulations to Chris Lowe for both directing and performing in his own work, a sometimes difficult feat!
This was an ambitious production and this talented group performed to a very high standard. It made for a very enjoyable evening for the audience.
Well done to everyone involved.