An Interview with Holly Marsden

This week the EUSOG will be bringing H.M.S. Pinafore coming to Assembly Roxy. The Mumble managed to catch up with its director for a quick interview;

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THE MUMBLE : Hello Holly, so where ya from & where ya at,geographically speaking
HOLLY : I am from a village in Cambridgeshire and currently attend the University of Edinburgh, studying History of Art.

THE MUMBLE : You’ve had quite a busy time in your three years in Edinburgh : performing, directing and producing scores of productions. What is it about the theatre that you love
HOLLY : I have always been involved in theatre – I guess it’s my form of personal expression. Performing and watching theatre is escapism, during which the trials of life can be forgotten about. It is the whole process that I love though: collaborating with like-minded people to create something organic and original that reflects not only what you are performing, whether it is a musical, devised or whatever, but the relationships that have developed over the short period of rehearsal time. You have such a short and fleeting time to build friendships that everybody is instantly open and willing to show their whole selves. I feel I can be myself. I also love how theatrical works stand as a reflection of that historical period, how people felt at that time, and how relatable they are even in the modern context; Pinafore stands as a perfect example of this!

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THE MUMBLE : Can you tell us how Spring Awakening went at last year’s Fringe
HOLLY : Spring Awakening was such a whirlwind. Containing such deep and emotional themes as the show does, the rehearsal and performance period was intense and emotionally challenging. I couldn’t quite believe how much of a success it was; we sold out every night and received many standing ovations. I knew it was a good show because of how it felt, and how talented the director Emily Aboud is, but selling so well was brilliantly shocking. The reviews topped it off as one of the best performance experiences I have had. I credit it to the talent and dedication of Emily and the rest of the production team as well as my fab fellow cast members.

THE MUMBLE : What does Holly Marsden like to do when she’s not immersing herself in the theatrical arts
HOLLY : When not being a drama kid, I work with children with additional needs at playscheme and at a nursery. I also work at a modern art gallery in New Town and as a student ambassador for Edinburgh College of Art. I have a passion for historical documentaries, pub quizzes, glitter and I love having obscure experiences (or exploring Edinburgh’s vegan eats) and laughing with pals. I also like finding excuses to travel as much as possible and pretend to study.

THE MUMBLE : You’re just about to put on H.M.S Pinafore along with the rest of the EUSOG. Why this choice
HOLLY : I have been a member of EUSOG since 2015 and am on the committee as a Fundraising Manager, so am aware of how they run as a society and I guess this meant I felt comfortable enough to propose my vision. EUSOG also has a great and well-established reputation that has been building since its establishment in 1961. Applying to direct a Gilbert and Sullivan, being so well known, felt right as this is my first musical directing experience.

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THE MUMBLE : How will you be presenting HMS Pinafore aesthetically
HOLLY : Aesthetically, this version of HMS Pinafore is set on board a present-day cruise ship so we are going for lots of fun colours and patterns. There are recognisably modern features – expect lots of inflatables, leis and sunglasses.

THE MUMBLE : How is Musical Director Sam Coade handling the band & the music
HOLLY : Sam Coade is wonderful, not only is he extremely talented but he makes me laugh constantly. I think it’s important to have a good relationship with your prod team to ensure things run smoothly. We have worked together to decide on the sound we want to create in order to fit the vision, and Sam has been great in arranging the music to align with this. We have just had the sitzprobe and the band sound amazing! It is going to be a very musically-pleasing show indeed.

THE MUMBLE : What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Holly Marsden
HOLLY : Looking forward, I am taking a break from the high table and auditioning for Fringe shows (fingers crossed). I hope to visit friends abroad over summer and complete an internship. As for my final university year, I will hopefully be on a committee and start a pottery society and/or Louis Theroux society with my flatmates. But no set plans so I will just see what comes my way!

 

 

The Commitments

Edinburgh Playhouse

Feb 27th-March 4th

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The new Commitments musical comes with high praise from the West End, so like myself and the gentleman to my right, & just about everyone else in the audience, we were all expecting big things! This show is not just a musical, for it stays very true to the film and a lot of the first act is more of a play telling the story of the movie, with a few musical numbers thrown in for good measure. By being true to the film one has to remember the cast were not very good at the start, and have to go on a musical journey to reach their destination. Or as my friend to the right put it “it was alright but they were a bit shite”. I was lucky enough to be accompanied for the evening by two of my very favourite ladies (my Auntie and my 82 year old Nana), who had made the trip through on the bus from Glasgow to see the show. We all loved it and had had a positively splendid night, we thought, sitting with a couple of whiskys later that evening while comparing notes on the show. My auntie said it “just didn’t get going” in the first half. I agreed, and ruminsaed they could have done more, but I understood the reason why there were holding it back. For me, there was a glimmer of hope, as three very bright stars in the form of the ‘Girls’ (played by Leah Penston – Imelda, Christina Tedders -Bernie, Amy Penston – Natalie) bounced on to the stage and quickly went from “shite” to songbirds.

The set changes are slick, and focus on small areas of the stage, which has the effect of drawing you in as the story unfolds as it is narrated by Jimmy, played by Andrew Linnie. As the curtain fell on the first act I politely asked a very kind lady who was sitting on the other side of the steps from me if she would be so kind as to swap seats so that my Nana & Auntie could join me at the front left of the circle.  Now these were good seats and you felt as if “you were right there in the middle of at all,” to quote my Nana, and I would have to agree our position was brilliant.

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Like the title of the band and the movie, you have got to stay committed, and feel the faith that there is a lot more to come. Now I had my two ‘Soul sisters’ beside me, & after a our interval drinks we were all set. Ads the show progressed, although I never saw anyone standing up in the isles and dancing, I think there were a few people dying too! I have been told off from my Nana over the years, but as she told me to “stop moving about, you are shaking the life out of me,” I did have a wee laugh to myself and started a more serene hand-tapping. The 2nd act was a riot, nonstop frolics from start to finish. Everyone stepped up to the plate, and Declan – played brilliantly by Brian Gillian – was on fine form as he belted out all the favorites. I wasn’t sure if he would big enough to fill Declan’s boots when I saw and heard him in the first half, but he absolutely nails it in the second. It is a roller-coaster of a ride with lots of thrills, tons of soul and bags of laughs. We had a brilliant night and thoroughly enjoyed the full thing.

Get yourself on the weekend, relax ,have a few drinks and don’t be afraid to let it all out! You will have a brilliant night!!

Reviewer : Mark Parker

five-stars

Evita

Edinburgh Playhouse

Feb 7-11

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Stagecraft: 5  Book: 5  Performance: 5

Truly wonderful! Came home and sang “don’t cry for me…” thankfully only my wee dug had to put up with my dulcet tones! The truth is Emma Hatton as Evita will never leave me! I was absolutely blow away by the show and was on the edge of my seat almost all of the way through the performance. I knew a little bit about the story of Evita but I had never read any of the books and had actually fell asleep during the movie. So I wouldn’t dare comment on the historical accuracy of Bill Kenwright’s production of the emotive masterpiece by Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice – Evita.

The story was told in a wonderful way which was moving and gripping from the start. I have to also admit that Evita popped my cherry at the playhouse so I really did not know what a treat I was in for. The theatre was very grand and very red I thought as I took my seat. I was expecting some brilliant acoustics from the orchestra and actors and I was not disappointed! I also thought the sets where amazing with a mix of grandeur and scale which depicted classic palace halls and chapels to boutique cafés and endless balconies which where all speedily and seamlessly changed as the drama unfolded.

To be truthful though there was a few stars shining brightly that night; Gian Marco Schiaretti as Che who helped narrate Evita’s journey from the lower calsses of Argentine society to the palincial palace was very funny and vocally outstanding. I really took to Che and thought that he portrayed the character very well and that he tried to express both the love for Evita and understanding that many Agentine people must surely have. Oscar Balmaseda played Magaldi (Eva’s first rouge!) brilliantly and when he sang ‘On this night of a thousand starts’ it was delivered perfectly with the right balance of humour and talent (just as the rest of his performance).

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There were certainly no doubt a few rouges back in 1940’s Argentina, and the fact that the country has someone who will always be remembered is perhaps a legacy that most of the Argentine people will be proud to have. I am sure like most of the great one’s Eva’s discretions will be long forgot before she is! One of the other outstanding solo performances I thought was Sarah O Conner who played Peron’s mistress who was abruptly evicted by Evita. Sarah’s rendition of Another Suitcase in another hall was absolutely stunning! Juan Domino Peron was played by Kevin Stephen-Jones who gave the character a touch of presidential elegance throughout the show and showed genuine heart felt love for Evita. If I was wanting to be picky I would say there was a couple of wobbles from the supporting cast where I couldn’t quite catch the words on one or two of the songs song’s, but never from Eva who was played perfectly by the Lead.

Thankfully I can report there was no chance of me falling asleep for the show! I was enthralled from the moment the first light appeared from behind the curtain! Evita was perfectly performed by a group of very talented and beautiful people. There was no shortage of talent on the stage Emma Hatton was phenomenal and when she delivered the shows signature song ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina it was absolutely beautiful, it really was a showstopper! However thankfully there was more to come as this was only the first song in the second act. We were then treated to an array of further musical numbers and songs as the inevitable end drew near of my poor wee Evita and the wonderful show!

Reviewer : Mark Parker

five-stars

 

An Interview With Maddie Flint

Nicola+.jpgThe Mumble : Hi Maddie, so where are you from & how did you end up in Edinburgh

Maddie : I grew up in a small town in Yorkshire. Whilst it doesn’t strike people as the hub of theatrical activity I owe a great deal to many of its inhabitants for curbing my love of the theatre. Edinburgh was in the end the only real option for me on deciding I should get a ‘real degree’ due to the huge array of opportunity in this city and the university for those with a love of the arts. Looks like I made the right choice!

The Mumble : When did you take an interest in the Footlights tradition, & how did you end up in a senior position

Maddie :  I was aware of Footlights throughout my first year of University. They are renowned for creating impressive theatre of a professional standard and of course I wanted to be a part of that. Urinetown and me were the perfect fit considering my previous experience directing satire and sheer love of musicals. I like to think it was my creative vision that convinced them to choose me but it equally could have been the pee-puns in my application.

The Mumble :  Can you tell me about this year’s production, Urinetown?
Maddie :  Urinetown is set in a town that is desperately suffering a water shortage following a 20 year drought. The notorious Urine Good Company (UGC) controls the regulation of water and public toilets, exploiting the poor and threatening to banish them to Urinetown if taxes aren’t paid, whilst they enjoy their luxurious lifestyle. Meanwhile the unlikely hero, Bobby Strong, starts a revolution against the UGC and finds out what Urinetown has meant all along.

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The Mumble :  Footlights have been working with choreographer Sarah Lamb again – what does she bring to the table?
Sarah Lamb : In The Heights was my first major choreography project in Edinburgh and it’s great to be working with Footlights again. In the break in between I’ve done a lot of work in physical theatre and dance theatre, so I hope what I bring to the table is a mix of glitzy Broadway choreography juxtaposed with character infused movement. I love how the show is completely self conscious of its genre, as it allows for to have leaps and pirouettes for absolutely no reason at all other than ‘because it’s a musical’. At the same time however I’m able to dive into the kind of movement direction and choreography that’s focused on emotional intention or character portrayal and that demands an organic process. It’s the mix of commercial dance with theatrical movement that I really hope I’ve been able to create comedy and life with in the show.
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The Mumble : The Edinburgh Footlights has been going on for almost three decades – what are the chief traditions of the group
Maddie : The chief professional tradition is to produce the largest scale amateur production on the Edinburgh University calendar. Our personal fun loving traditions which make Footlights the family it is, is at the end of each production we present awards to one another on paper plates. The production team, on the opening night of the show, give out star stickers for each member of the cast to put on one of their shoes to “light up their feet” (footlights)! These awards usually include quotes from the show. Other fun traditions include socials the week of the show- movie nights, dinner and of course, partying, as if we don’t spend enough time together during show week!

The Mumble :  What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Maddie Flint
Maddie : In short, who knows what 2017 holds but it’s definitely started well. Fringe of course is beckoning and I’m always looking for new projects. I would love to remain apart of this wonderful society in some shape or form whilst continuing to abandon my degree in favour of the theatre.

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The Church Hill Theatre, Edinburgh,
7 – 11 February 2017
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Wonderland

Edinburgh Playhouse
20-28 January 2017

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The Edinburgh Playhouse is Wonderland‘s first stop in its long, 30-venue UK tour. I doubt there were many, if any in the audience who weren’t familiar with Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll’s original children’s tale of magic and mayhem and his well-loved characters. With this production however, American writers, Gregory Boyd and Jack Murphy, had put a new spin on the old story by making Alice a 40-year old dispirited single mum, a few years’ out of a emotionally abusive marriage, needing to find herself again. Adapted by Robert Hudson to give it a British makeover, it still retains its sunny, American ‘believe in yourself’ empowerment message. The opening scene presents downtrodden Alice (powerfully played by Kerry Ellis in the Edinburgh show) and her dutiful daughter Ellie (the talented Naomi Morris) in front of a grim, grey tower block in London. Without any trace of a stage school ‘Mockney’ from either, their sensitive acting made their ‘reversed’ mother and daughter relationship immediately engaging and recognisable, as Ellie valiantly tries to nudge her mother into moving on with life. The chorus, leaned in and out together in their grey and blue office wear, their angular movements suitably expressing the emptiness of modern corporate life in the opening number, “Worst Day of my Life”. A ‘bad’ day for Alice indeed, as her ex gets remarried and she gets fired from her job for being late, not imagining, of course, that as doors close, much better ones are about to open. But she has to get out of her own way. We wait for the rabbit to appear.

“I don’t care about the real world!” is Alice’s weary battle cry, to the chagrin of her frustrated but ever patient daughter. The White Rabbit’s appearance, of course, is about to change everything. This one, played by Dave Willetts, is a kindly, affable rabbit, a curious ‘elder statesman’ with a spring in his step. As he takes her and her shy, lovestruck neighbour Jack (played by Stephen Webb) down in the psychedelic lift down to Wonderland, we are plunged immediately into the chaotic underworld that looks like a cross between the land of Oz and a mental hospital. The crowd of characters reflecting, I suppose, Alice’s full variety of repressed adult problems and abandoned dreams. Welcome to ‘Wonderland’..they sing, with a touch of early 80s British ska.

Jack’s persona as the shy, ignored neighbour doesn’t last too long, as he eagerly jumps first through the mirror of transformation. As his alter ego emerges, we’re amused by this new, confident, slick star, channeling a little Robbie Williams in his leather jacket and cocky attitude. However, he retains some vulnerability and kindness behind the new cockiness, which keeps us rooting for him as Alice’s ardent suitor. The boy band, with its nods to 1980’s blue eyed soul, Motown and every known boy band from New Kids on the Block to One Direction. ‘Show me one night’, Jack sings, as part of ‘One Knight’ and Alice loves it. Jack is a brand new character for us to meet of course, but the well-known and well-loved ones were reassuringly all there. The lime green Caterpillar was, simply, great fun. Played by Kayi Ushe; a day-glo Curtis Mayfield with huge lime-green legs, surrounded by bespectacled secretaries straight out of a 1950s cartoon, ‘Advice from a Caterpillar’ was a ridiculous trippy-kitsch soul number, and one of my favourites. The female quartet were eye-catching with their undulating movements as his legs, not just here but also the quintet that were the small chorus for the Queen of Hearts.

So far, so good. Powerful voices, catchy songs, defined characters and overall, great acting. But as the plot began to lose its rudder, we got a little restless. The songs were a great distraction, almost, from the weak plot and dialogue. The Mad Hatter was female (played by Natalie McQueen) and, like the other female leads, had powerful stage presence. Some attempts at political commentary and digs were being made at our accepted power hierarchies as her ‘madness’ morphs from mild eccentricity to full megalomania in the quest to take over Wonderland from the despotic Queen of Hearts, but this part of the plot loses its way and makes it hard to follow. They had many opportunities to make the most of comic moments; the annoying mirror for example, but the laughs were a little on the thin side. The relationship between Alice and Ellie continued to carry the show as it began to limp along. Ellie’s ‘stereotypical moody teen’ made the audience laugh the most. The mother and daughter duet, after Alice frees her from the Mad Hatter, is particularly touching. However, relying on their acting and the power of the big show tunes to carry the energy of the show only highlighted the weakness in the overall structure even further.

Many of the costumes, for something so iconic and rich as Alice in Wonderland characters were a little disappointing in parts. The Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts costumes, relying on tartan and nipped in waists, worked well, Perhaps the minimalism in parts was deliberate, but many of the animal costumes veered towards ‘low budget, school play, grab a pair of ears and go’ look, almost leaving us to imagine them into the roles of March Hare and Cheshire Cat. Again, for a dream world setting, they could have really gone to town with the set, but it was sparse and uninspiring on the whole. However, the lighting was fantastic, especially to create the psychedic, dimension roaming effect they wanted.

We do enjoy Alice’s dramatic psychological change, which is just as well, as it’s what the whole plot hinges on, after all. Just like in real life, it seems subtle after she comes out the transforming mirror, but then her real personality begins to shine as she is tested to do what she has to do, which is rescue her daughter and rescue herself in the process. We enjoy watching her use her fair but firm school teacher authority to set clear boundaries, command respect and get the right thing done. Middle-aged divorced mums will appreciate the message, of course, about finding yourself after an oppressive marriage, but I wondered about everyone else. Particularly what the few young children in the audience made of it, as there didn’t seem to be much particularly in it for them.

The talented cast certainly made the best of it with both their acting and singing. The Queen of Hearts (played by Wendi Peters) embodied the role perfectly, from the beginning of her explosive entrance, bustling on like a scarlet cross between Queen Victoria and Bubbles Rothermere. Her operatic voice delighted the audience with the length of her notes, and she filled the role with proper pantomime capriciousness. The musical score was great; a good mixture of jazz, swing, rock, pure pop; all the expected big belters from Frank Wildhorn, who wrote a no 1 power ballad for Whitney Houston herself, and we we were lucky to witness singers who can carry the full power of the songs. Kerry Ellis, indeed, carries the whole show right until the feel good ending, as she gains clarity about what has happened to her and who she really is. We’re happy for her, and glad to know that ‘hearts can unbreak’. With the Wonderland chorus contained in the shadows behind the veil, but just still visible, her voice packs a truly powerful punch at the end with her own Whitney style number, ‘Finding Wonderland’. Her acting and voice deserved the standing ovation that happened, probably, mainly for her. However, on leaving, it’s like having woken up from a pleasant but puzzling dream. Left with wispy fragments of plot that don’t create a cohesive whole, but the catchy tunes and feel-good factor stay with you.

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Reviewed by Lisa Williams

An Interview With Kerry Ellis

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THE MUMBLE : Hi Kerry, so you’re just about to take Wonderland on tour around Britain, how are rehearsals going and are you looking forward to opening night?

KERRY : Its always a little crazy with a new show because we are all discovering the show for the first time. The music is really incredible and sounds magical, I think people will go home singing a tune !

THE MUMBLE : How are you finding producer Neil Eckersley’s take on this classic
story.

KERRY : Its the first time I have worked with Neil and Im so grateful to have been cast to create the role of Alice in a brand new show.

THE MUMBLE :  Which are your favorite musical numbers from the show?

KERRY : There are so many!! Though I do have a moment with Dave Willetts who sings a very inspirational song which is very special… we worked together on a show many years ago when I was 19 so its nice to share a moment on stage.

THE MUMBLE :  What are the audience members to expect from this particular adaption.

KERRY : They will be bopping along for sure and hopefully leave with a smile, its a great family fun show.

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THE MUMBLE :  You will be touring two thirds of year – are you ready for this & will
you be getting any time off?

KERRY :  I am only doing part of the tour as I have other commitments, I have a new album that’s coming out in March with Brian May, but I am looking forward to touring this show and taking it to lots of great venues, the cast are all fantastic and have so much energy and talent its a joy.

THE MUMBLE :  & finally, do you have any Edinburgh related activities on teh agenda
while you are in town

KERRY : I have been to Edinburgh many times and love it very much, I love walking around the city and just looking at the sights,, I might take a trip up the castle and hope to see a few fireworks on Burns Night.

You can catch Wonderland at the Edinburgh Playhouse, 20th-28th January

Mamma Mia!

Edinburgh Playhouse

N0v 29th 2016 – Jan 7th 2017

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There was a buzz in the audience before the curtains even opened, to a medley of ‘Abba classics’ that the entire multi generational audience was surely familiar with. A theatre full of mostly female Abba diehards, out to see Mamma Mia the musical north of the border for the first time, included Scottish national treasures Judy Murray (mother of Andy) and Susan Boyle. I was surprised to see so many children in the audience; boys as well as girls, excited to witness the legend that is Mamma Mia! Of course, the film version would have made the story familiar to everyone, and there is unlikely a person alive who can’t hum at least one Abba song. Originally written by Catherine Johnson, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and produced by Judy Craymer, it is clearly written from a female perspective, with strong, multifaceted and immediately recognizable women characters. Sara Poyzer steals the show with her unwaveringly brilliant portrayal of Donna, the single mother running her Greek hotel, devoted to her 20 year old daughter Sophie who was born to one of three possible fathers from her ‘free love’ days of the late 1970’s. The story opens as Sophie, played competently by Lucy May Barker, finds her mother’s old diary and invites her trio of potential fathers to her upcoming wedding to her fiance Sky (Scottish Philip Ryan). We prepare for any possibilty; a recipe for disaster, or the possible rekindling of lost love and new bonds forged in the search for identity?

The set was very simple; a white, Greek style building to represent the hotel, relying very much on lighting to create mood and time of day. As we know, this secluded, unspoilt Greek island is such a idyllic setting as the backdrop for this romantic drama of British expatriates, it would have added to the magic if the set had reflected this more. The Greek hotel staff, in their traditional drab, dark cotton clothes, formed the chorus to provide the contrast to the mainly British, opinionated, well defined characters. A small point in the overall picture, but this use of ‘faceless but happy natives’ made the show seem a a wee bit dated. Added to the slightly tiresome trope of ‘fat but comical friend’ Rosie and innuendo of Harry’s homosexual orientation that now feels like a lazy way of fishing for laughs. But you can’t easily update a script from such a classic and well loved show that’s is still playing to packed out theatres ever since its opening in 1999. You can only make it your own. Which the actors surely did, with Rosie dropping down into splits in the middle of trying to cheer up Donna in the bedroom, thrilling the audience. This scene was funny and touching at the same time; old friends who are there for you through thick and thin. The actors who played Rosie (Jacqueline Braun) and Tanya (Emma Clifford) were perfect physical choices for the characters and this trio carried the show. Their larking about to Dancing Queen, doing all the silly stuff you do with your best friends, was a definite crowd pleaser. Their roles are well crafted, recognisable and inspirational and the synergy between the three women is satisfying and believable.

If the script makes the show feel dated, somehow the Abba songs manage to live on, despite their unadulterated cheesiness. It’s probably because even pop music from Sweden retains a traditional undercurrent of melancholy which lends well to the more emotional scenes. The structuring of the play is particularly clever in its use of Abba anthems to provide anchors and turning points for the plot. It’s so well done, it’s almost like they are made for the play, even though we know they have a completely different origin and history. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! was one of best dance routines, with flashy and beautiful disco dancing girls reminiscent of Pan’s People, the music and lighting throwing you straight back into the trippy discotastic vibe of the seventies. The dream sequence to Under Attack was brilliant; visually arresting, slightly disturbing and confusing in exactly the way nightmares are.

Sophie’s slight stiffness, and longing for security provided the necessary contrast Donna’s ‘flower power’ hippie freeness, but I missed the sweetness and island vibe of Amanda Siegfried in the film version. However, she made the role her own, and her strong acting made the relationship with her mother compelling. The scene with Donna before her wedding, was beautifully acted, and when they sang ‘Slipping through my fingers’ it didn’t have just me crying, but evoked a line of loud sniffing from several women in the row behind me, and no doubt throughout the theatre. The men in the play had to take more of a back seat to let the women shine. Young guys had a classic ‘Chippendales at a hen party’ about them, with their spray tanned Essex boy physiques calling forth whoops and wolf whistles from the women in the audience but their youthful drunken exuberance and goofy dance routines were well played.

The arrival of three potential fathers was hilarious, and their very different characters immediately defined just by walking out onto the stage. Sam, serious, bewildered and cross, played by Richard Standing, is perhaps the hardest character to make us care about, with his wooden, inpenetrable facade holding up amongst all the glitter and slapstick. Harry (played by Tim Walton) was very likeable, delightfully awkward and familiar in his effete middle class British manner. Easier to like, as there’s nothing at stake. The scene between Donna (Lucy May Barker) and Sam during ‘The Winner takes it All’ was beautifully played, with Donna undoubtedly stealing the scene with both the sensitivity of her acting and the strength of her singing voice, just like she did with almost all scenes. We begin to relate to his torment as the cracks begin to show, revealing his unquenched yearning for Donna, allowing us to rejoice in their sweet reunion. Bill, the rough-around-the-edges Australian, played by Christopher Hollis, was hilarious. By the time the farce resolves itself in the church, we are rooting for everyone’s happiness and rejoice in ‘love conquering all’. Now it was just time for the high heeled boots, tight suits and glitter to conquer us fully, as the cast held nothing back in their final numbers. We were with them all the way.

Don’t go to this show and take any of it too seriously, as it’s not the point. Take it lightly, fully embrace the cheese factor, and let the glittering, tasseled experience leave you with a big smile on your face. Whether you just hum along to the melodies unconsciously embedded in your cells, or spring up to join the rest of the audience on their feet, dancing and clapping along, you’ll be glad you went.

Reviewer : Lisa Williams

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