Daisy Pulls It Off was, for me, a complete unknown when I took my seat at The Plaza Theatre in Romsey this evening.
I had never seen the show, nor had I read the synopsis provided in my programme as I was in the mood to be completely surprised this evening.
My first thought was that the set assembled before me was really rather fabulous and did its job in setting the scene of a Private Boarding School long before the actors took to the stage. Alongside the costumes worn by the actors as they mingled with the audience, I instantly knew where and when we were, and I think the combined efforts of the back stage crew should be applauded for their work.
RAODS delivered one heck of a ‘jolly good jape’ of a show this evening as I was utterly transported to Grangewood School alongside Daisy Meredith (Becky Mills) and her new classmates.
For those unfamiliar with the show like myself, the best way I can think to describe Daisy Pulls It Off is as The Adventures Of Tintin meets St Trinian’s as this show had everything one could possibly expect from such a combination.
There were treasure hunts, cryptic clues, arch rivals turned friends, betrayal, long lost relatives, suspense and even a fair few laughs throughout as Daisy navigated her way through the halls of a snobbish private boarding school having come from an Elementary school previously.
I must applaud Becky Mills who played Daisy as she was instantly in command of her stage from her very first to very last line, showing us just how well rounded a performer she is as she flowed from scene to scene with great ease and even sang a song or two very commendably. My star of the show this evening has to undoubtedly go to her as she grasped the bull by the horns and kept the energy and momentum flowing all evening.
The cast for Daisy Pulls It Off was large, with fourteen cast members each with a different part to play and I think director Alan Rimmer did a wonderful job in ensuring that each character had their individual moments to shine; and at the end of the show I knew each of them by name and understood their place in the story, which often is not the case in large shows where some characters can become lost, woolly or entirely forgettable amongst the hubbub.
The duo of Monica and Sybil (Helen Ford and Jo Short) was a highlight for me. The actors played the roles perfectly as they plotted, schemed and lied their way through the show, attempting to oust Daisy and reclaim the school’s exclusivity.
I loved Helen’s performance this evening as she had such a developed character that even when she was not speaking, she had me wanting to watch her as she naturally reacted to the comings and goings on stage.
I simply cannot go through this review without mentioning the extreme energy and bounce that was Trixie Martin (Georgette Ellison) who burst onto the stage with such vim and vigour that I physically jumped out of my skin each time she took to the stage. Georgette must have been exhausted by the end of the show as not once did her energy dip. My only criticism would be that the speed in which a few of the lines were delivered did hinder somewhat as some words were stumbled over, momentarily taking me out of the action as I tried to decipher what had just been said.
The ensemble work this evening was fabulous as the cast obviously came together as a unit to deliver a vibrant, bright and funny show. The only moment that was lacking for myself was the ‘Hockey scene’ which could have been a bit tighter and needed just a little bit more oomph and pace. Having built up to this iconic match, which meant so much to the school as a whole it just fell a little bit flat.
I had an absolutely wonderful time this evening and would highly recommend Daisy Pulls It Off to anyone looking to have a genuinely fun time at the theatre. It truly has something for everyone and I myself left The Plaza tonight with a very large smile on my face.
Daisy Pulls It Off runs until Saturday 20 April at The Plaza Theatre, Romsey.