I wasn't sure what to expect from this production. It was all very well Director Nancy Msiska and Musical Director Laura Curtis-Dagg drawing up a list of their favourite songs from the musicals but simply following one musical item with another would soon bore the audience to death! They quite rightly came to the conclusion that some sort of story line was
necessary to bring the whole together and I was pleasantly entertained with the one they finally settled on (saving a theatre from closure). It certainly echoed the experiences of some longer-serving Shinfield members!
It was obvious that involving four characters as diverse as Alexander (Ali Bagshaw), determined to preserve his family's historic involvement in the Lancy Theatre; Maria (Hannah Lebrecht), the diva from hell, keen to promote her own talents at all costs (we've all met such characters, haven't we!); her shy partner Jack (James Lawbuary) who gave us a superb rendition of Mr. Cellophane and the bubbly, enthusiastic character Willow (George Randall) would cause some sparks to fly as they thrashed out a programme that would produce the sparkling moneyspinner they were looking for. I loved the way the songs were woven into the production, both as solo items for the four principals and as ensemble items for the whole company. They were attractively choreographed by Charlotte Miller and several chorus members were afforded opportunities to enjoy their own moment 'in the spotlight'. Some of the pun-laden dialogue leading into these numbers was worthy of pantomime and much appreciated by the audience on the night I attended!
As they left the theatre several of our regular customers mentioned how lovely it was hearing the well-known music again, so well done everyone involved. My only disappointment was that we only had a very brief glimpse of the scenery depicting the renovated Lancy Theatre. A really spectacular finale would have been the icing on the cake.