Our House

Date 25th October 2012
Society Ellesmere Port Musical Theatre Company
Venue Ellesmere Port Civic Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Dawn Kennedy
Musical Director Craig Price
Choreographer Kayleigh Meluish

Report

Author: Budge Grounsell

It is hard to see Tim Furths hand in this when you consider his work on Calender Girls. Chalk and Cheese doesn’t really say enough. You have to admire the Ellesmere Port Society for taking on what is essentially a difficult show. Is it a study of social depravation or a tale of Jekyll and Hyde, or both? Unless you were au fait with the Authors intentions it was at times a difficult premise to come to grips with. .

It was a little slow to start but then quickly picked up pace.One of the main problems which I and some others whom I have spoken to experienced, was that the sound was very loud; intentionally so I believe because of the nature of the pop music and the show’s style. Unfortunately it was difficult at times to understand the dialogue and consequently to fully comprehend where the plot was leading us. It was almost 2 plays within one as the cast enacted out the double sides of the leading characters life.

Having said that, Dawn Kennedy an experienced Director wrestled with this unusual concept very well making the most of the changes of direction which the leading character goes through during the course of the action and utilising her cast effectively.

Gareth Earl as the leading player worked hard and his portrayal of Joe Casey who is seen in both his good and evil side allowed him to showcase the talent which he obviously has.

His mates Emmo (Damian Riveroi) and Lewis (Richard Cannon) were realistic in their approach and did well. Billie (Ruth Carpenter) and Angie(gill Watson) were excellent and provided some magic moments to the delight of the Audience..

The love interest came in the shape of Sarah(Klare Roberts) and I thought she both looked right and addressed the part of the girl torn between Joe’s good and bad side believably.

Joe’s mum (Donna Gribbin) projected just the right image in dealing with a son who is himself trying to establish his path in life

Whilst His “dead” dad (Andy Nickson) was on stage most of the show. This must have a difficult part as it meant hanging around a lot but not part being of the action. In the main he handled this well but at times seemed to be unsure where to place himself: Not easy.

There has to be a villain to help suborn Joe from the straight and narrow and Reecey(Chris Pacitti) filled the bill nicely as did Ian Devereux-Roberts who played Mr Pressman the shady property owner. Sarahs erstwhile friend Callum from University, a possible rival to Joe was played by Dominic Meluish who looked exactly right…definetly Universitymaterial.

The choreography by Kayleigh Meluish I liked very much. The boat ensemble was great, bright and breezy and the number with the umbrellas yes!. I wasn’t always sure of the symbolism behind the chorus numbers but they were well done and well sung.. take a bow Craig Price who always seem to come up with the goods.

The unsung hero behind the scenes are always worthy of a mention .., well done…. “Props I loved the car” Wardrobe. It was a pity that one of the nuns came on minus whimple at the beginning and sporting a modern hair style but heigh ho…

As I stated at the beginning I did find the plot at times confusing; the coffin scene at the end completely threw me and I would have liked less volume but I felt it was a difficult show to tackle which gives more kudos to the Ellesmere Port Theatre Company who are never shy in doing something different.