The summer is gone and the nights are drawing in, so what do we do with our evenings now?
Well it’s the start of the musical theatre season for our local amateur groups and just at the right time for us to enjoy live entertainment on our doorstep.
First out of the bag for the autumn season was Wales Musical Theatre Company’s 2012 Showstoppers staged last week at the Acorn Theatre, Worksop.
Now I’ve seen the Acorn packed before, but you literally couldn’t move for excited theatre-goers and the atmosphere crackled before the show even started.
Unusually director/producer Nicholas Challenger was nowhere to be found as he was cruising around the Med at the time, but with such a talented production team he had nothing to worry about. David Burgess, Victoria Taylor and Jayne Lemm have a mass of talent between them.
Showstoppers had it’s first outing in 2009 and subsequent shows have been so successful that by 2011 the official Wales Musical Theatre Company was born.
Central to the show are the songs and, under the musical direction of David Burgess and with some of the best songs from Wiz, Wicked, Jungle Book, Hairspray, Cabaret, Footloose, Fame and The Blues Brothers, the show was guaranteed success.
From the start the music hit the mark. We were treated to choral singing, solos, duos and quartets as well as carefully choreographed dancing. I loved the inclusion of the all-male line-dancing team too. Group male dancing doesn’t happen very often and this just showed that we need more.
The junior chorus had everyone’s attention with their beautiful animal and bird costumes and then went on to model quite a few more.
The soloists and featured singers were chosen because they have real talent. They don’t just sing with style and accomplishment, they act too. They had the audience with them all the way and the chorus filled the room with a wonderful sound.
As the evening sped to a close it was obvious someone’s choice of Blues Brothers songs was inspired. What better to stir an audience than Gimme Some Lovin, Think, Soul Man, Shake a Tail Feather and Everybody Needs Somebody and the Blues Brothers compere was superb.
As the audience rose for a standing ovation and the lady in front of me danced with gusto to the encore, I was left wondering how they can possibly do any better next year.
The next production from Wales pantomime group will be Babes in the Wood at The Montgomery Theatre, Sheffield, on 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th January. For tickets call Jayne Lemm on 01909 809757.
by Wendy Fidoe