The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Date 19th May 2012
Society Stevenage Lytton Players
Venue Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage
Type of Production Musical
Director Aimi Percival
Musical Director Chris Phelps


Author: Vicki Avery

The direction of the show generally moved along at a goodly pace and was peppered with some good characterization, one of note being that of Grace Maynard playing Shy as a newcomer to the Chicken Ranch traditions. Richelle Brundle gave a fine performance as Angel, but always under the steely eye of Miss Mona played by Allie Neal. This actress demonstrated her wealth of experience both as an actress and singer to great effect and her moments of softness with Angel and Ed Earl contrasted perfectly with the formidable business woman that she displayed to others. Lizzie Bergman’s portrayal of Jewel worked well and the song Twenty Four Hours suited her voice perfectly. This was one of the highlights of the performance. Sharon Curtis as Doatsey Mae was well cast and her song was executed with feeling and understanding. Miss Mona’s girls gave excellent support throughout. Steve Wilkes was the hot tempered Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd, trying his best to save the Ranch from TV pundit Melvin P Thorpe (Ross Edwards) and his supporters. Both actors gave solid performances though at times dialogue was delivered at quite a pace and not all the implications of what was being said was fully understood. Adrian Johnson gave a consummate performance as the Governor with his Side Step routine bringing a smile to everyones faces. Completing the male line-up were Ashley Humphreys (Senator Wingwoah), John Dunleavy (Mayor Rufus), Dave Wooley (CJ Scruggs) and Ian Chambers (Edsel Mackey). There were a number of technical issues with the sound on the evening I attended and this was off putting for both the audience and the cast and although it was evident that the cast were lively and enthusiastic there was a lack of concentration from the general chorus leading to detectable mistakes. Generally, the accents worked but not all were sustained throughout. The music, costumes and scenery were good and the audience left having enjoyed their evening. Thank you for your hospitality.