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‘70 YEARS OF GREAT MUSICALS’ – MARCH 2015
Many congratulations on the Society’s 70th year of entertaining the public and also on presenting such an enjoyable and polished revue. The combination of projections from past shows, the narration delivered by members, and the variety of musical numbers made for a well rounded production which offered something for everyone, both performers and audience alike.
Amanda’s direction was imaginative, involving most of the cast most of the time and their energy and enthusiasm shone through from start to finish.
TJ’s choreography was nicely varied and in keeping with the different types of shows represented.
Starting with an overture covering some of the included musical numbers, Jordan Clarke and Simon Connor, although they were the only two musicians, made a good, full sound and I noted one or two special arrangements and harmonies which came across well.
The opening – a bustling street party scene- was a perfect start and the business on stage, far from detracting from the readings by Rita and Amanda, served to capture the spirit of the time. In that section, I particularly liked the unaccompanied ‘Youth’s the Season’ from ‘The Beggars Opera’. The business/choreography with the ‘fish cards’ and the face of Elizabeth 1 was most effective.
In ‘Beginnings’ the audition process with the girls sitting terrified on the bench was familiar to all of us who have auditioned and Peter, Donna and Clive acquitted themselves well in their respective songs. I especially enjoyed the Can-Can from ‘Orpheus’.
Having just directed ‘Ruddigore’ the Gilbert and Sullivan section was a delight for me. Choreography was suitably simple in the songs and Clive’s ‘Little List’ was bang up to date and very funny. Clive, Mike and Robert led the chorus admirably before being turned into the ‘three little maids’ a song they put across with assurance.
‘The Farmer and the Cowman’ was fabulous!
I appreciate that a solo is less stressful for the soloist and more interesting visually if others are on stage but I was a little distracted by the ballet dancers – perhaps a shorter routine would have sufficed – when Paula sang ‘How are Things in Glocca Morra?’
Match Girls’ was the third HOS show that I attended as a NODA Representative back in 2004 and I enjoyed a reminder of some of the musical numbers.
‘Behind the Scenes’ was a strong end to Act One. Sarah’s performance of ‘Windy City’ was good and the two following big chorus numbers were full of energy.
‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is my all-time favourite show and so for me you couldn’t go wrong with a selection from that wonderfully moving musical. Choreography was appropriate and the ‘Sabbath Prayer’ was beautiful.
Making ‘Accustomed to Her Face’ a trio for the three young men worked nicely and ‘Mums and Dads’ by the youngsters was great!
A wonderful rendition of ‘We Said We Wouldn’t Look Back’ by James and Adele finished that section.
A heart-warming feature of Hatton Operatic Society is the commitment of a number of members from the same families who have been involved with the company over many years and it’s good to see that it is still the case.
The highlight of the Family Section was decidedly ‘Lambeth Walk’ with lively choreography and clearly well-rehearsed.
The tricky ‘Who Will Buy’ was good, (a couple of mistakes but probably no-one other than me would have spotted them) and the ‘Jane Eyre’ selection was excellent.
‘Anything Goes’ was super and again the choreography in ‘Steam Heat’ was impressive.
The musical numbers from ‘Annie’ were a delight, especially the young girls’ ones, and considering my last report you know how much I enjoyed ‘Into The Woods’ from which Aileen sang the song ‘Children Will Listen’.
Lighting was complimentary to the production and well plotted and my only negative comment is that unfortunately the sound department was slow to pick up the cues on a number of occasions which was very noticeable.
Your programme is interesting and attractive and the history of the society was fascinating to hear. I’d no idea that you used to produce pantomimes either.
This 70th Anniversary show was a special celebration for all of you who are members of the society, and because it was so professionally compiled and presented it made for a memorable evening’s entertainment. My guest (who hasn’t seen you before) and I had a thoroughly enjoyable night out. Thank you!
Thanks too to Chris who looked after us in the interval, many congratulations to her on attaining an MBE, and I look forward to seeing you all again in October for ‘The Boyfriend’, a musical I directed myself a few years ago.
NODA South East Regional Representative – District 12