“Sit back and relax”, you said – and I certainly did that. It was pure joy from beginning to end.
This Company, who are famous in Dorset for their Gilbert and Sullivan Productions, certainly made me feel at home with this lively and inspiring collection of songs from the shows. I loved the innovative way each section was designed starting with ‘When You Fall In Love’ and ending with ‘Memories Live On’, before the ‘Finale’ of Pirates Of Penzance.
Amanda King opened the show with ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and was joined by Bruce Vyner and the ensemble. The harmonies were just wonderful on the ear and left you wanting just a bit more. This was followed by ‘Matchmaker’ from Fiddler On The Roof; I thought Kimberly as Tzeitel was just lovely, if perhaps a little nervous. ’Oh Happy Young Heart’ sung by Eleanor Riley was wonderful, those high notes were truly met with talent. Tony Lock and Wendy Costigan’s duet of ‘Leaning On A Lampost’ was very easy listening and fun, so much so I forgot to look at what the ensemble were doing.
The next section Bridegroom & Bride was equally entertaining. ‘Three Little Maids’ all complemented each other with their voices and interacted together in harmony. I particularly liked the facial expressions of Roy Perrins whilst Roz Golbey was singing ‘Were I Thy Bride’. I found this very funny and couldn’t understand why the audience were so quiet.
Naughty But Nice was a good way to end the first section and led us well into the second half of the show. ‘Regular Royal Queen’ from The Gondoliers I felt needed a bit more movement from the ensemble and some shaping of groups. ‘The Night They Invited Champagne’ from Gigi was different but fitted in well within this section.
Act Two commenced with ‘Hark The Hour’ and then the Love and Laughter section. I very much enjoyed when Bruce Vyner, the Musical Director, turned round and broke into song; he was fun to watch and the ensemble responded to him superbly. ‘Tink A Tank’ sung by Tony Lock was well sung and his acting ability came across strong. Christine Skidmore did justice to ‘When The Children Are Asleep’ from Carousel, which is still one of my favourite shows as it was the first show I ever performed in as Louise when I was 14 years old.
Memories Live On, the last section, started with ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ from Fiddler On The Roof, such a lovely song and well executed by the whole cast. ‘Before I Gaze At You Again’ by Fiona Aucott was very moving and sung with lots of feeling. The section ended with Amanda King singing ‘Memory’ from Cats; this was certainly a wonderful rendition and one I particularly enjoyed.
The whole show ended with 2 numbers from Pirates Of Penzance involving the whole company, which were sung with enthusiasm and a love of singing and spreading joy.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable show. My only comment would be to think more about ensemble groups, often the chorus seemed to get themselves in a straight line; having said that the ensemble acted through most numbers and were completely involved in the production.[Editorial: Bournemouth GaSP will be performing For The Love of Music on Thursday 5 May at The Barrington Centre & Theatre, Ferndown, and Friday 6 May at The Spire, Poole. Tickets: £12.50; Available from 07565 134842 or online]