Tribute and Celebration

Date 31st October 2014
Society Walberton Players
Venue Walberton Village Hall
Type of Production Review
Director Madeline Doman & David Fido
Musical Director Madeline Doman & Richard Barnes
Choreographer Emma Wynter


Author: Jose Harrison

This was exactly what it ‘said on the tin’ – Plenty of variety to suit all ages with an underlying theme of celebrating the 100 years since WW1 broke out. Starting appropriately with ‘Another Op’nin, Another Show’ the tone was set for the evening with fine choral singing, many solo pieces, sketches, comedy and a great playlet culminating in a sing along which had the audience enthusiastically waving flags and joining in. All the cast were delightfully dressed in identical outfits with the men in a matching colour to the ladies simple but pretty long skirts and attractive tops. The opening was followed by a couple of numbers by Peter Brown and his Madrigal Group with some good harmony singing.  Next there were some youngsters showing off their dancing skills with wide smiles and lots of enthusiasm.  Jeanette Fido and Sheila Higgins then sang The Barcarolle beautifully but I felt it would have come over with more performance level if they had sung it without their scores in their hands.  Peter then reappeared with Christopher Doman as The Gendarmes.  A great comedy duet performed with loads of expression. We were also treated to a great monologue on cricket by Peter Higgins and some excellent solos and duets by Richard Barnes (the hard working pianist for the evening), Jeanette, Justine Potter and Lizzie Gibson. The first half was closed with a selection from Gilbert and Sullivan lead by Malcolm Lawrence, Christopher, Peter and David Fido with the support of all the cast.  The second half opened with a highly amusing version of ‘Dads Army’.  The 17 strong cast were superb in their characterisations of the various much loved members of Captain Mainwaring’s (David Fido) little army all costumed excellently.  This was followed by two very moving pieces, ‘Empty Tables’ and ‘In Flanders Fields’, then some more Gilbert and Sullivan to lighten the mood and a grand closing with all the cast ‘Putting on the Ritz’.  However this wasn’t exactly the closing because it became the chance for the audience to show their singing skills with a great selection of songs (song sheets provided) culminating with ‘We’ll Meet Again’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.  All in all a thoroughly enjoyable evening.