Sweet Charity

Date 25th July 2014
Society Orrell Musical & Dramatic Society
Venue St Michael's Parish Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Matt Morrell
Musical Director Linda Scott
Choreographer Jackie Webb


Author: Patricia Connor

“Sweet Charity” has music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields and is based on an original screenplay by Federico Fellini,Tullio Pinelli, and  Ennio Flaiano  from a book by Neil Simon. The musical follows the ups and downs in the fortunes of Charity Hope Valentine a dancer-for-hire at The Fandango Ballroom in 1960’s New York who just wants to be loved.

Producer Matt Morrell had a very enthusiastic cast to work with and there were some entertaining performances and stand out moments in this show, I particularly enjoyed the scene between Charity played by Paula Waring and Oscar Lindquist played by David Simm where they were trapped together in a lift, both actors had a good rapport with each other as well as good comic timing which resulted in a very entertaining scene. Film star Vittorio Vidal was nicely played by Andrew Southern producing a good clear accent and Rachel Farley was suitably glamorous as Vittorio’s girlfriend Ursula March. The six ladies who played Charity’s fellow  ballroom dancers the Fandango girls worked well together as a team, and their renditions of the numbers “There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This” and “Baby Dream Your Dream” were performed very well. Generally accents were good and maintained throughout the performance and diction was clear meaning dialogue was heard and the action could be followed despite some problems with the microphones.

Occasionally during a show artistic license is taken sometimes as a necessity or sometimes as creative direction, during this production the most noticeable instance of this was when Charity was pushed into the lake in the park, however she was visibly bone dry when rescued and personally I would like to have seen some attempt towards making the situation more realistic.  The whole cast however worked well together as a team and appeared to be enjoying themselves immensely performing with energy and enthusiasm which was not an easy feat considering the high temperature on the evening of my visit and this energy and enthusiasm  was conveyed to the audience who appeared to thoroughly enjoy this show.

Scenery was minimalistic but was adequate for the type of show and also for the venue, costumes were accurate for the era, I liked the black and white theme for The Pompeii club and the colourful flower power costumes for “Rhythm of Life”.  The orchestra led by musical director Linda Scott supported the cast well and played very nicely and choreography by Jackie Webb was suitable for the production and was executed well by the cast.

Well done to Producer Matt Morrell and to all involved in the show including front of house I had a very entertaining evening, thank you for inviting me I hope to see you for your next production.