Reviews

The Mikado

I would tell you how many years ago I first came upon Gilbert and Sullivan, joining this very society just a couple of years later, but in the interests of maintaining my credibility as a young person (ha!), I’ll just say that it was when the society was a mere twenty years old, and that ever since that time I have adored G&S with a passion that’s intense. The Mikado is not quite at the top of my list – that honour goes to Patience – but it’s certainly pretty high, and this production has reminded me just what fun
Read more

Putting on the Glitz

Milton Musical Society are now in their 48th year of performing and believe that everyone should have a chance to show their talents. Set in a 1920s American nightclub, the story unfolds through its staff, guest artists, and rich clientele. With music from the terrific on-stage three-piece night club band, the Al Hume Trio (Alistair Hume on keyboards, Dan Priest on drums and Lee Marchant playing double bass), wonderful songs highlight the work of such well-known song writers as George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter. This is the era of prohibition, gangsters, elegant fashion and pioneers of movies and
Read more

Calamity Jane

WMOS sustain their deserved reputation for putting on classy and energetic shows with this film classic developed for the stage. Liz Petley-Jones has again, but this time literally, directed a sharp-shooting show with a note-perfect band under the swift and talented baton of John Sparrow. If there was an award to be given under the banner ‘Energetic Firecracker’, then the name of the winner would most certainly be Emma Jane Smith as Calamity, exuding power and energy throughout her time on stage in this coveted role. Iain Steel is more than a match for her, singing his solos with warmth, and point-scoring beautifully with
Read more

Role Play

There are few better-known names in British theatre than that of (Sir) Alan Ayckbourn and many of his published play-texts are popular on the amateur theatrical circuit. One such is this two-act drama from 2001, which originally formed part of a triptych of plays called Damsels in Distress. Maybe Ayckbourn is an acquired taste or perhaps this is not one of his best, but by the end of the first scene (at least half an hour) I was losing the will to live. The performances themselves – John Sivewright as Justin, and Hannah-Rosie Tointon as Julie(-Ann) – were fine. It
Read more

Sounds of the ’50s and ’60s

I must declare an interest from the start: the ’50s and ’60s are exactly my era, and back then I must have bopped, smooched or sung along to just about every number on the programme. But even someone without my enthusiasm for the music of these two decades would have agreed that Wimborne Musical Theatre gave us an evening of high quality and enormous enjoyment. Most of the company of 22 had their moment in the spotlight and not one of them let the others down. The quality was variable, of course, not so much in the singing as in
Read more

The Light Burns Blue

Silva Semerciyan’s play is loosely based on the true story of the Cottingley fairies, in which two young girls, Elsie Wright and her cousin, Frances Griffiths, borrowed a camera from Elsie’s father and took pictures that appeared to show fairies. The images came to the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who used them to illustrate an article he was writing for Strand Magazine, and the photographs caused a sensation, dividing opinion as to their genuineness. The pictures were taken in 1917, at a time when many families were suffering the loss of male family members in battle, and interest
Read more