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The Pajama Game

Date

28th April 2018

Society

Wigan Musical Theatre Group

Venue

St Michael's Church Hall Wigan

Type of Production

Musical

Director

Christine Armstrong

Musical Director

Joan Bond

Choreographer

Jayne Quinlan

Report

Author: Patricia Connor

 The Musical The Pajama Game has music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross and is based on the 1953 novel 7 ½ cents byRichard Bissell and the book of the show is by George Abbott and Richard Bissell.

It is some time since I have seen this musical and I had forgotten just how many well known musical theatre songs there are in its score such as “ I’m Not at All in Love”,”Hey There”, “Once a Year Day” and Hernando’s Hideaway”.The story centres on workers in a pajama factory who demand  a seven-and-a-half cent pay raise,  unfortunately their demands go unheeded with the result there is a labour dispute. Amid these problems, love blossoms between Babe, the grievance committee head, and Sid, the new factory superintendent.

With an experienced Production Team which consisted of Director Christine Armstrong, Musical Director Joan Bond and Choreographer Jayne Quinlan this was a very enjoyable show and it was obvious that the team knew what they wanted from everyone and the production.

The main efficient set looked just like the sewing room in a factory, it had been well thought out and excellently dressed with applicable props. There was good technical input and costumes looked just right were colourful and fitted the era nicely, adding to the authenticity of the production, well done to all backstage crew.

 The cast of talented performers all gave their very best, producing some lovely entertaining characters, they included a strong performance from Sandy Kershaw who suited the role of Babe Williams very well, her love interest Sid Sorokin was confidently and securely played by Mark Lloyd. Alyson Wilson was very comedic in her role of Gladys, and she was complemented very nicely by John Clinton as the comedic character, Hines, both displayed excellent comic timing while playing these two very entertaining characters. Maria Rignall was secretary Mable, and I particularly enjoyed her duet with John as Hines (as did the rest of the audience) called “I’ll Never Be Jealous Again” which had very good choreography and was performed excellently. There were other entertaining characters and performances in this large cast which included David Cox as Prez and Gary Williams as Factory Manager Mr Hasler, Paul Balfour was the  Salesman and Brian Heap was Pop. Babe’s friends included Wendy Cox as Brenda, Clare Hodkinson as Mae, Lisa Bryden as Jo and Rachael Moulton as Poopsie while Patrick McNulty was Charlie with Ian Hollis and Brian Middlehurst as 1st and 2nd helper.

The whole company worked hard to make this production a success working together as a team with lots of energy, maintaining their characters always while on stage. The show ran at a good pace and choreography was just right for the production and the venue and was executed well by the cast. The band under the expert direction of Joan Bond as usual supported the cast on stage securely, playing at just the right level so that all the musical numbers and their words could be heard.

 I would just like to mention an observation about the microphones which were turned off when the actors were speaking but tuned back on during musical numbers, I have noticed other societies using this venue also do the same. But when this happens it can change the feel of the overall performance and the audience must adjust to hearing differently.

However, this was a very enjoyable production and lots of hard work must have gone into bringing this show to the stage, congratulations to all involved thank you very much for inviting us and making us so welcome.