Date 13th May 2015
Society Caprian Theatre Company
Venue Gateshead Little Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Tom Stafford
Musical Director Enid Stafford
Choreographer Cheryl Hewitt


Author: Foster Johnson

From their inception 50 years ago the Caprian Theatre Company has had a reputation for being innovative when it comes to presenting lesser known musicals. So it was again when, for their anniversary production, they staged the British Amateur Premiere of Redhead. It would seem implausible that a Victorian murder mystery musical would be a success. However that could not be further from the truth.

With the entire action taking place between a wax museum and the Odeon Theatre, London involving the search for the murderer of a local showgirl, this was a vibrant and excellent production.  Under the direction of Tom Stafford, the musical direction of Enid Stafford, and choreography of Cheryl Hewitt the show bounced along in fine style with flawless acting, crisp and well delivered singing and eye catching choreography.

With a cast of 22, every one of whom brought their own something special to the show, it would seem unfair to single out any individual performance.  However, there were some memorable ones that cannot be overlooked and need to be mentioned.  The pick of these were Lindsay Kellegher as the lovelorn psychic wax modeller Essie Whimple who portrayed the many facets of her character to perfection.  Think of all the character traits needed for this role and they were delivered.  

Better known for their comedy duos in pantomime Simon Devlin, as George Poppett the theatre comedian, and Steve Nichol, as the theatre strong man, delivered fine performances in their respective roles, whilst  Susan Pennington and Carol Bannerman, as the waxworks owners, sisters Maud and Sarah Simpson, once again displayed their experience and talents in their roles. 

They were well supported by Russell Rafferty, as Theatre Director Howard Cavanaugh, and Charlotte Black and Rexine Perry had fine cameo parts as the local street girls. 

If Societies are looking for something different to perform rather than the normal run of the mill shows then they should certainly look at this one.  It has something for everyone to do.  You will notice that there is no mention in this report of who the murderer is for to do so would spoil the anticipation of the cast and audience alike. 

Finally many congratulations to the Caprians on their Anniversary.  Keep up your fine traditions.