Musical Of Dreams

Date 15th January 2022
Society Orchard Players
Venue The Village Hall Capel St Mary Ipswich
Type of Production Musical
Director Raymond Seager
Musical Director Maria King
Choreographers Bex Nicholls, Charlea Finbow, Lynn Perera, Katrina Miller
Written By Raymond Seager

Report

Author: Mary Williamson

It was so lovely to be returning to Capel St Mary for an Orchard Players production. The Front of House team as always made every member of the audience feel truly welcome. The organisation and adherence to the Covid guidelines was exemplary and certainly made the audience feel safe. Thank you.

The opening scenes introduced us to the central figure in the musical, Daniel, played with great accuracy and charm by Gracie Seager. Her adherence to character and her obvious ability in both singing and dancing made this a very strong performance. Lynn Perera gave us a warm and loving picture of a mother. I would have preferred to see the home scenes presented closer to the audience.

Off to school and the relationship with Harry, Ava Robinson Rodgers and Edith, Millie Martin was introduced. This was a thread which developed well through the piece. Both characters were delightful and very well portrayed. The school bullies led by Tommy, Lola Miller, were also well done and gave direction to the plot.

Daniel's dream journey then took us to so many places and introduced a lot of very well known Musical Theatre and Pantomime characters. Mary Poppins played by Charlea Finbow was a super representation of this well loved character. A 'Little bit of Light Fantastic' was a great group number with a real cockney vibe. I loved it. James Finbow's 'Jack' and Neil Jackson's 'Bert' were both very well played. What an incredible tongue twister from Jack!

Bex Nicholls portrayal of Miss Hannigan was amazing. I really would like to see her in 'Annie'. This was a very strong performance and so well supported by the young people in her 'care!' Matilda Seager was a great Annie. The ensemble performance of 'A Hard Knock Life' was one of my highlights.

This show was a real trip through the Musical Theatre world with an appearance of the Genie well played by Rob Dack , Amber Carney as Matilda and the incredibly costumed Fiona Robinson and Ian O'Hanlon as Cogsworth and Lumiere and Glyn Hill and Emma Cranwell as Plumba and Timon from' 'The Lion King'. I lost count of the many references. The theme of the musical became evident as each part of Daniel's journey enhanced the character's confidence.

The quality of singing and dancing throughout the cast was excellent. It is not often that such an excellent balance between adult and junior performance is achieved. The band supported every song with verve giving a real liveliness to the show. The brilliant choreography shone in every number performed. I particularly enjoyed 'Step in Time' and the great finale 'All in this Together'. Congratulations to the choreography team.

This was a very lively and excellently performed musical but I did find the plot somewhat confusing. Every member of the cast contributed to giving the audience a great afternoon. The costumes were amazing!! Congratulations to Julie Wardley, Cheryl Burton and Laura Finbow. The lighting enhanced the action and was particularly successful when the cast came through the audience which is not easy to achieve.

Congratulations to the Director Raymond Seager on this lively and very well performed musical. It certainly gave the audience a great show and such a treat after a long period without the joy of live performance.