Monday, 12 July 2010

Guest Review: Sweet Charity

"I was privileged to spend an evening watching the Bradon Forest School Production of Sweet Charity. Having seen the film version many years ago, my expectations were high and I was not disappointed. Lucy Bosley played the lead role of Charity Hope Valentine with confidence. She captured the eternal optimism of the character but still managed to show the vulnerability also. Her singing was excellent, managing maintain character whilst belting out “If They Could See Me Now". 

The supporting characters in the Fan-dango Ballroom were equally strong, most notably Kira Sawford and Hannah Sellars. Their voices complimented each other well and they clearly understood the characters they were playing. Rae Elias acted well but shone when she took on the role of Daddy Brubeck. The range in her vocals was outstanding and for a time I forgot all about Sammy Davis Junior in the role. Bradley Williams acted the role of Herman very well. His mannerisms and facial expressions were excellent and he performed the song “I Love to Cry at Weddings” very well indeed.

Reece Kinnet as Oscar Lindquist stood out for me. He acted superbly, particularly in the elevator seen – the timing was excellent. Clearly a lot of work and practice had gone into this role. The other supporting actors, Ryan Clarke, Kirsten Harris and Charlotte Quinn did not seen out of place in this production. Considering that Harris and Williams are only in their first year at Bradon Forest, I expect them to be scooping up bigger roles in future productions. 

The choreography was technically very challenging, Sawford, Sellars and Bosley coped well with singing and dancing at the same time. The chorus worked hard and the Rhythm of Life Church routine was breathtaking with complicated lifts and movement.

The direction by Mrs Stimson showed both an understanding of the production, taking elements from the Broadway and film versions. She managed to get good performances from all. All of the performers managed to seem real, they reacted in the background, the timing of the comical lines were well placed and it is clear that a lot of work had gone into the preparation.

Having a live band added to the ethos of the show and the direction from Miss Groom was brilliant (she does need a baton though). I understand that the group of musicians did not have long with the music and practices were sparse. I tip my hat to the professionalism from all of them.

I will close by saying that I have been to a number of productions at the Bradon Forest Theatre and this one was, once again, a most enjoyable way to spend an evening."

Big thanks to Chris Thomas for his detailed review! I have to say that extra kudos does indeed go to the band... only two rehearsals all together!  

(NB. The photo shows all the band, except Jemima Palfreyman who played the piano excellently for the evening performances. Thanks to Fiona Fleet for giving up the flute to play piano on the matinee performance.)

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