Date 11th October 2018
Society Wigan Musical Theatre Group
Venue St. Michael’s Parish Hall Wigan
Type of Production Concert
Director Frances Cheetham
Musical Director Joan Bond
Assistant Director Clare Hodkinson


Author: Jim Briscoe

MUSICAL MEMORIES took us on a musical journey to celebrate Wigan Musical Theatre Group’s
70th Anniversary; performed at St. Michael’s Parish Hall, Shaw Street, Wigan on Thursday, 
11th October 2018.

This was my first visit to see Wigan Musical Theatre Group in action and I do hope it isn’t my last!  To stage any type of show/review takes a vast amount of time, leadership and dedication; there is little doubt that Wigan is blessed with many dedicated and experienced theatre people to help achieve this. Congratulations to the Production Team of Frances Cheetham and Clare Hodkinson (Director and Assistant),  Joan Bond (Musical Director) and her musicians Ian Parkinson (Bass Guiter) and Curt Vosper (Drums and Guitar); their expertise certainly helped get the best out of 
the this talented cast.
The set and staging was minimal, but worked very well under the supervision of Shiela Cleary (Stage Manager) and her Crew. The costumes and props were appropriate, worked well and enhanced the production. Sound and lighting was excellent. 
Act 1 
Our journey began in ‘Vienna, City of My Dreams’ situated on the banks of the ‘Blue Danube’. 
‘To the Inn We’re Marching’; ‘In Salzkammergut’; ‘The White Horse Inn’ of course, where a ‘Drinking Song’ was being sung just before we said our ‘Goodbye’!
From Vienna we were whisked off to the most romantic of cities Paris ‘I Love Paris’, ‘Ces’t Magnifique’.  ‘The Last Time I Saw Paris’, t’was ‘The Night they Invented Champagne’,  
‘I Remember it Well’; those ‘Women, Women, Women’, ’You’ll Always Find Them in Maxims’ 
and as they say ‘Paris is Paris Again’ ’Bonjour Paree’,  we miss you already!  
We then set sail for dear Old Blighty and although it was a ‘Foggy Day in London Town’ and I know ‘Fings Ain’t What They Used to Be’ pre Brexit, but... ‘Maybe It’s Because I’m a Londoner’ that we were so filled with ‘London Pride’ especially when we found  time to do the ‘Lambeth Walk’, have some ‘Fish and Chips’, before reminiscing about ‘The Good Old Bad Old Days’ ... ‘London is London’... or so they say!

Act 2
After some light refreshment, the  journey continued across the pond to America where they say ‘It’s Never Too Late to Fall in Love’, but ‘I Enjoy Being a Girl’ or should we say a ‘Broadway Baby’ especially when we’re  ‘Standing on the Corner’ in ‘Manhattan’, ‘New York New York’, ‘S’Wonderful’.  When ‘It’s a Lovely Day Today’ in New York and ‘You’re Just in Love’ all you want to do is ‘Put on a Happy Face’ and when it comes to say goodbye, we just ‘Give My Regards to Broadway’...’How About You’? 
‘Mama Mia’ surely it’s too soon to leave ‘America’, ‘New York, New York’ and that ‘Lullaby of Broadway’; but, ‘Nowadays’,  with the ‘Memory’ of that ‘Cabaret’ presented ‘Tonight’, we find time to remember that when I’m ‘On my Own’  ‘Wishing you Were Somewhere Here Again’ that at ‘This is the Moment’ when ’I Dreamed a Dream’ about ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ that Wigan Theatre Group had plenty more ‘Razzle Dazzle’ and ‘All That Jazz’ to offer! 
So I for ‘ONE’ want to say ‘THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC’ and a wonderful evening!

I have purposely excluded cast names from this review simply because I honestly believe that this was a great ‘team effort’ and that everyone gave of their best and that’s all one can ask!  But having said that, I really do think it would be remiss of me not to highlight my three personal favourite performances..
These are purely my favourites and I’m sure if you asked any other person watching, they would come up with a completely different list...but here we go...

‘This is the Moment/I Dreamed a Dream’ two songs that you wouldn’t naturally think would complement each other....but complement they did and far more!  Congratulations to Clive Green and Mark Lloyd timing/clarity/interpretation was faultless. 

‘You’re Just in Love’ Clare Hodkinson / Maria Rignall / Alyson Wilson / John Clinton / Clive Green / Mark Lloyd.  What a Show Stopper!  Again it just worked.  The clarity of the vocals, the interaction between the singers was superb.. a wonderful performance.

‘I Remember it Well’ From ‘Show Stopper’ to ‘Show Stealer’!!!!  Bill Collins and Maria Rignall. 
Bill Collins has ‘comedy timing’ in abundance which he used to perfection in this song and alongside Maria this was an amazing rendition of a fabulous song!   Well done you two.

Finally...Happy Anniversary Wigan Theatre Group, I do hope you have a wonderful year!
Thank you so much for inviting me, making me feel more than welcome and a special thanks to Frances Cheetham for that slice of wonderful homemade Victoria Sponge.