Red Hot and Cole

Date 3rd May 2014
Society Hereford Musical Theatre Company
Venue The Tomkins Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Richard Davies
Musical Director Jenni Axtell
Choreographer Sam Stokes


Author: Louise Hickey MBE

From the moment we entered the theatre I felt part of the evening’s performance. The clever use of the ensemble mingling with the audience whilst we sipped a glass of fizz during the overture was a lovely touch. The newly decorated hall gave the perfect ambience for the 20’s set musical and the chandeliers finished the simple set off perfectly.

In his directorial debut Richard Davies made quite an impression; his attention to detail was palpable and the cast really did look as if they were having a ‘ball’. But who wouldn’t enjoy singing such well known and brilliant song’s, although there were a couple of songs that I didn’t recognise.

The principal cast members were all good, and Steve Allan as Cole Porter could not only sing but he could act too which was evident in his portrayal of the tormented but very talented man. The story itself was a little difficult to follow at times but that did not detract from the wonderful performances of the cast. Nicky Willett’s gave her best performance to date in the role of Elsa Maxwell; she was very convincing. I loved Nicky and Steve’s ‘True Love’ toward the end of the show, (that’s when some of the audience started to cry!) Newcomer to HMTC Olivia Jackson was excellent as Bricktop and had powerful songs to sing which she handled effortlessly. Trudy Connolly was a very creditable Ethel Merman and so was David Newton as Noel Coward. Charlotte Glasspool as Linda and Brad Langston as Paul were very good in their supporting roles. The songs were beautifully sung by everyone and were quite intense at times. Therefore it was nice to have some light relief when Mark Price as Monty Woolley sang ‘Don’t fence me in’; he had the audience in stitches.

Wonderful choreography by the talented young Sam Stokes added the finishing touches to what was a very polished performance by everyone.