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‘JET SET’ – MARCH 2017

The theme of world travel is a perfect one in which to feature  a large variety of shows and in fact I devised and directed a very similar production about ten years ago. Up to date it has been staged three times for different societies. The welcome and safety drill were familiar ground (I was a stewardess with BOAC; before it became BA) and as in your production we stopped off at numerous countries in our travels. (Foolishly, from the point of view of the work involved, I went one step further with the theme and we provided an ‘in flight’ box of refreshments served by me in the interval!!)

Chris and her team were in evidence and the FOH ran efficiently.

The opening to the show was excellent and the girls were well rehearsed in their moves making a confident and fun start to the evening. The number was bursting with an energy that didn’t wane throughout the show, and choreography was commendable from start to finish.

The children did really well in their songs and were confident in their presentation. There was an enviable mixture of children, young people and adults on stage, I believe there were 37 of them at the performance on Friday.

 I’m unable to mention every single number but all those taking part contributed in their different ways to make this a lively and varied entertainment.

There were quite a few songs that were unfamiliar and as such were a little challenging for some members of the audience, but there were the tried and tested show songs too, so in fact something for everyone.

In France ‘Le Temps Des Cathedrales’ was beautifully danced by Sian and Charlie’s singing was good. I liked the sound effects in that number.

Amanda performed with style in ‘Spanish Rose’ and the songs from Italy were enjoyable.

‘Cabaret’ was as raunchy as it should be and the children’s rendition of ‘Lonely Goatherd’ provided a complete contrast.

Connie put a great deal of emotion into ‘Send in The Clowns’ and the two songs from ‘Mamma Mia’ transported the audience back to the 1970’s.

I don’t know the musical ‘Anastasia’ but ‘The Rumour’ could have been ‘The Rumour’ from ‘Fiddler on The Roof’ – they are so very much alike!

I’m not sure who sang’ Far From The Home I Love’ but her voice was clear and innocent, perfect for the song, and Sian’s dancing was a delight.

I loved ‘Shakalaka Baby’ – good choreography and performed superbly.

‘Shall We Dance’ was lovely – Paula and Jakub made the song their own, and Graham’s voice was super in the ‘Miss Saigon’ number.

Having just directed a traditional ‘The Mikado’ it was interesting to hear the ‘Hot’ version.

Kai and the company did an excellent job of ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ but for me the best was saved until the last. A rousing company number – ‘Go West’

In Act Two ‘Baby June’ was first rate and the following couple of songs were completely unknown to me but the men did well with the number from ‘Crazy for You’.

 ‘Oklahoma’ was particularly good – although the sound wasn’t consistent so the underscored lines weren’t audible. In some of the songs soloists couldn’t be heard until they reached the front of the stage, and unfortunately in ‘Shadowland’ the band were a little too loud for Georgia when she sang in the lower register. Gabrielle danced that song beautifully. The recorded ’in flight’ message before ‘Evita’ couldn’t be heard at all.

The little girls were charming in ‘Happy Talk’ and the song from ‘The Children of Eden’ was good.

 Songs from ‘Joseph’ are always welcome, even the less popular ones, and the ensemble sang and acted ‘Prologue/Joseph’s Coat’ really well.

There were artistic settings with the groups of children in ‘Sweeney Todd’ and ‘Me and My Girl’ was a wonderful opportunity to show the involvement of at least three different generations performing for Hatton Operatic Society.

‘Oom Pah Pah ‘ was great, a good sing-along fun number delivered with enormous enthusiasm by Jo and the company – the kites were super in ‘Mary Poppins’ as were the harmonies.

For me ‘Flash Bang Wallop!’ was the best number in the show – it was brilliantly performed and sung and it made a rousing and familiar ending to a well thought out compilation from around the world.

Projections were good, a little late a couple of times, and the lighting was well plotted and operated.

The simple approach of mainly black and white costumes, with a few additions to suit the various songs worked perfectly well.

Your programme is excellent and I’m sure you’ll want to enter it for the NODA Programme Competition. You can either send four copies to me or send them directly to Kay Rowan, the South East Councillor.

It was good to meet Jack and Deanna in the interval and my congratulations go to them both for putting together such a vibrant entertainment. The set was minimal but Jack used the rostra fully and the staging was always attractive.

Thanks also to Elizabeth for making me so welcome and looking after me in the interval.

Gloria Smith

N.O.D.A. South East Regional Representative – District 12.



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