The Drowsy Chaperone

Date 19th October 2012
Society Brentwood Operatic Society
Venue The Brentwood Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Jacob Allan
Musical Director Jonathan Sands
Choreographer Jacob Allan

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Author: Tessa Davies

I have not seen this show before and it had a very limited professional run in the West End so I was intrigued by the opportunity to see it.

Once again Brentwood Operatic gave us an excellent evening’s entertainment and I look forward to seeing this show performed more often.   It requires a relatively small cast and provides a great opportunity for character (and caricature) actors to go to town.  Clearly a tongue in cheek send-up of the ‘traditional’ musical theatre genre, the action was well paced and most enjoyable.

The cast all gave superb performances and I am hard pressed to pick out just a few as they all deserve a mention.  Ian Southgate’s performance as the Man in the Chair was a beautiful interpretation of a repressed, closet fan of Musical Theatre.  Even when the action was focussed on the cast on stage, he was there with them, in spirit, as he listened to the cast recording.

I really don’t want to miss anyone out, so full credit goes to all of the following for their well thought out performances.  Nina Jarram (The Chaperone of the title) Janet Van Den Graff (Juliet Thomas) Robert Martin (Samuel Cousins) Don Glock (George) Rebecca Toft (Trix) Michael Toft (Feldzieg) Kerry Cooke (Mrs Tottendale) Graham Greenaway (Underling) Martin Harris (Adolpho) Amy Newland (Kitty) and last, but by no means least, Mandi Threadgold-Smith and Jordon Cox for their hilarious portrayal of the Tall Brothers.   All were totally over the top but absolutely right for the production.  The ensemble also performed to a high standard, making sure that the audience (seated on two sides) were included throughout.

Director Jacob Allan has made his directing debut with an excellent production, and he made the very best use of the limited opportunities in this venue.  The band, under the direction of MD Jonathan Sands, produced an excellent sound with just the right balance.

Costumes, which are a particular interest of mine, were excellent; lighting and sound were absolutely right and the set worked very well in the small confines available to the cast.  In fact I am not sure if this show would work so well on a traditional stage as it was part of the concept that the audience were involved.  The Brentwood Theatre provides this intimacy and the company perform extremely well in such surroundings.

Another great evening’s entertainment, well done Brentwood Operatic and thank you.