Reviews

Bookshelf

Bookshelf

This is my first time attending a summer show by Ringwood Musical and Dramatic Society and I must confess to being a little bit confused when I arrived. I thought I was reviewing a play called Bookshelf, and was therefore both pleased and baffled when I realised that wasn’t the case. For those unfamiliar with the format, the summer show is a collection of short, original musicals, all lasting about 45 minutes each. In doing so, RMDS have created a way for all individuals, regardless of experience, to have a moment in the spotlight – and that is to be
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High School Musical Jr

High School Musical Jr

As a new term starts at East High School after the winter break, the Jocks, Brainiacs, Thespians and Skater Dudes all reform their little cliquey groups. Basketball team captain and resident jock, Troy, discovers that the brainy Gabriella, a girl he met while on holiday, has just enrolled at East High. As a Jock and Brianiac, neither are supposed to be interested in musicals, so cause quite some consternation amongst the various groups of students when they decide to audition for the High School musical, an original production called Juliet and Romeo. Abbie Miller is arguably the stand-out performer as
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Bugsy Malone

Bugsy Malone

Based on Alan Parker’s 1976 debut feature film, with the book by him and words and music by the greatly underrated Paul Williams, this fun show is a tongue-in-cheek parody of the Chicago prohibition era, when gangsters all had nicknames, were always accompanied by slinkily-dressed molls and ran clip joints and illicit alcohol stills. It is also an almost unique opportunity to get upwards of 40 children (plus a few supporting adults) onto a stage and have them sing and dance with such enjoyment. Director/Designer Alick Leech has done a great job here, conjuring up the period with music, movement
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Present Laughter

Present Laughter

Present Laughter is an amusing play written by Noel Coward in 1939 but not actually produced until 1947 because, whilst rehearsing the show, the Second World War started and British Theatres closed. The plot depicts a few days in the life of the egotistical, successful and self-obsessed comedy actor Garry Essendine as he prepares to travel to Africa for a touring commitment. A series of hilarious events take place which Garry has to deal with – women who want to seduce him, placate both his long-suffering secretary and his estranged wife, cope with a crazed young playwright and overcome his ‘mid-life’ crisis.
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The Lady In The Van

The Lady In The Van

Over the years, RAODS has built-up and maintained a high standard of performing and they continue to deliver every time. Last night was no exception as it was very easy to forget that these performers are only amateur. The Lady In The Van is based on the relatively true story of Miss Shepherd, an eccentric woman of uncertain origins, who `temporarily’ parked her van in writer Alan Bennett’s London driveway and proceeded to live there for the next 15 years. This story was made into a film in 2015 with Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings playing the central characters. Taking
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Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night

One of Shakespeare’s most loved and oft-played comedies, Twelfth Night tells the tale of twins lost at sea (Viola and Sebastian), the fallout from the resultant shipwreck, mistaken identities, unrequited love and not a little mischief-making and chaos before order is restored. Maskers Theatre Company have developed a reputation for high quality outdoor productions – and for good reason! After years performing their annual summer outdoor show in the lavish grounds of first Mottisfont National Trust then Hamptworth Lodge, they have found a new location back in Southampton in the beautiful setting of Townhill Park House (The Gregg School), a
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