Sweet Charity

Date 17th October 2013
Society Allegro
Venue Church Hill Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Fraser Jamieson
Musical Director Finlay Turnbull
Choreographer Caroline Howie


Author: Dorothy Johnstone

Sweet Charity is not the easiest of shows to direct due to the many scene changes but Fraser Jamieson in his first time directing an adult company rose to the challenge. A split level  set was well used to create the varying scenarios and by using cast members to assist in moving items on and off the set he managed to keep things moving along.

In her first leading role Emma Dawson (Charity) was a real tour de force. Rarely off the stage she portrayed the role with sweet innocence accepting that when she thought she had found the right man she would undoubtedly be let down. Her scene in Vidal's (Ross Bain) bedroom was well played as she revelled in "If My Friends Could See Me Now" and showed off her good use of facial expression when locked in the closet. Another first in a leading role was Jonny Farley (Oscar). While still convincing us that he was very shy in the company of young ladies, he brought out more comedy than other Oscars I have seen no more so than in the lift scene which was most amusing. In contrast, his final scene  was quite emotional when he decided that despite loving Charity he couldn't marry her. This was generally a strong cast. James McCutcheon was totally at ease as Herman and vocally spot on. "I Love to Cry at Weddings" also gave the company a chance to shine.

Sweet Charity has many well known big production numbers and Caroline Howie did well choreographing these in the Fosse style. The FanDango girls in their slinky ,sparkly dresses led by Lauren McLachlan (Helene) and Emma Collins (Nickie) used good, subtle poses and moves which were almost understated to create a sexy "Big Spender" number. "Rich Man's Frug" was also very catchy with it's slick movement and eye catching black dresses and white wigs. Harry Dozier was in fine voice and looked fantastic as Daddy Brubeck leading the gospel choir in "Rhythm of Life" where the chorus singing was at it's best, like the costumes here too.

This was a  busy show which was very entertaining and enjoyable. Well done to this young production team and a cast who showed great enthusiasm throughout.