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HATTON OPERATIC SOCIETY
‘OLD TYME MUSIC HALL’
Congratulations to Amanda and Connie on creating such an enjoyable show in this their directorial debut. It was attractively set with the thrust and steps used to maximum effect and the choreography was good too.
The rather luxurious purple taffeta curtain, the potted plant and the other accessories created the right atmosphere for the M.C’s area, and Fiona controlled her trio of musicians, situated on the stage, beautifully.
The Master of Ceremonies is a difficult role. It requires loads of confidence and an ability to deliver off the cuff remarks when necessary. Howard did well although he didn’t appear to be completely at ease in the role, but his announcements were clearly delivered. Just a bit more energy and more smiles were needed. In the finale I heard his singing voice and what a super one it is! I would have loved to hear more of it. Perhaps he could have sung a number of his own with appropriate dialogue leading into it?
This was a lively and well-rehearsed production that flowed effortlessly. Fiona’s links between numbers did just what they ought to do, came in quickly so as to avoid applause for every number, and the entrances and exits of the performers were imaginatively plotted.
With Big Ben in the background, a good selection of London songs strongly and tunefully sung by the cast followed an especially harmonious arrangement of ‘London Pride’.
The Little Heir had some very funny moments (perhaps it was a little too long) and the players acted well. Roy Selfe was first-rate as the Father, and Ashley Jarvest made a wonderfully frustrated director.
Connie and Aileen gave their usual accomplished performances in a ‘Couple of Swells’ and Aileen didn’t let her errant top hat distract her from the dance routine.
The ‘Summertime’ section was attractively set, the swing a lovely touch, and the pretty colourful costumes and umbrellas transported the audience from a cold, wet evening to a Summer’s afternoon. The four young girls singing ‘You Made Me Love You’ was charming.
‘Let’s Have a Ride on your Bicycle’ was new to me and Mike put it over with plenty of humour and the confidence that comes with experience.
Our Patriotic Past inspired the audience to join in and wave their flags and was really quite moving. It made a suitable ending for the first act.
At the start of act two we were transported again, this time to the seaside. The projection of a beach and the photo flat with the holes for faces created a holiday atmosphere and the beach costumes were great. The matching purple outfits looked good, and well, what can I say about the men’s ones! The audience enjoyed the gentlemen’s ‘shyness’ and the girls’ routine with the hoops was a super idea.
It can be daunting to not only sing alone but also accompany yourself, (no other voices/instruments as back up should anything go wrong!) but Rita managed it with style and confidence as she sang and played ‘Me and My Banjo’.
The second sketch also had some very amusing moments, again a bit too long, but an interesting twist toward the end, and there were especially good performances from Mike and David. Both had convincing accents and David even had two! One for ‘acting’ and the other for the asides. On occasion Elizabeth spoke a little too quietly and Sarah a little too quickly.
‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ was not quite as entertaining as the other sections and I felt the ‘Can Can’ could have been left out. The girls were too young to be worldly enough for the dance and mostly looked unhappy rather than joyous, possibly because they didn’t feel comfortable doing it?
Paula and the young girls enthusiastically painted the parlour with all the appropriate props – another opportunity to involve the youngsters and a couple of them stood out.
The finale had to be a Cockney one of course and it certainly went with a swing. The
men appeared to thoroughly enjoy ‘It’s a Great Big Shame’ and did it very well, also ‘I want a Girl’ was notable. The last song ‘Any Old Iron’ was sung at incredible speed when it was repeated, and made a wonderful ending to a most enjoyable evening’s entertainment.
Lighting was effective, well plotted and operated, and the occasional sound effects were O.K. The bird sound was a tad too loud.
Costumes throughout were attractive and colourful and the props were all suitable.
Your programme is nicely presented with a colourful front cover. The history of Music Hall is interesting, especially for the younger members of the audience, and
sections and songs are clearly listed.
I had a most enjoyable evening- thank you so much for inviting me to see the production. Thank you also to Chris for looking after my guest and I so well.
Good luck with ‘Annie’ which I shall look forward to seeing in November.
NODA South East Regional Representative – District 12