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East Midlands
posted/updated: 15 Dec 2018 - edit review / upload photos
White Christmas - ★★★★★
MUSIC AND LYRICS BY IRVING BERLIN. BOOK BY DAVID IVES AND PAUL BLAKE. Produced by Curve and Jamie Wilson.
society/company: Curve (professional & community productions) (directory)
performance date: 14 Dec 2018
venue: Curve, 60 Rutland Street, Leicester LE1 1SB
reviewer/s: David Supper (Sardines review)


Photo: Catherine Ashmore

★★★★★

There are many who might approach this period piece with a great deal of misgiving. What, they might say, is the point of reviving a stylised show that says nothing about the world in which we live. True there are some classic songs but the raison d’etre belongs in the past. It is here they forget (or probably don’t know) that the basic premise of this show is to be nice to a fellow human being, especially one who has fallen on hard times.

This show is a classic in the true sense of the word – who doesn’t know the song White Christmas? – and there are more, many more such as Happy Holiday, Sisters, How Deep is the Ocean and the list goes on, songs famous in their own right, all flowing from the pen of Irving Berlin.

The Curve is to be congratulated on its choice of a Christmas production that really does warm the heart. In an age littered with politically correct attitudes to casting, production and promotion, this show steps neatly (almost) around all this and with superb song and dance routines, choreography (Bruce Pomahac), a set, which moved effortlessly from one location to another (Michael Taylor), bedazzling costumes and an excellent orchestra led by Musical Director Neil Macdonald, a rousing evening was enjoyed by the packed house.

The four lead actors, Danny Mac (Bob Wallace), Dan Burton (Phil Davis), Emma Williams (Betty Haynes) and Monique Young (Judy Haynes), could not be faulted and it was extremely pleasing to find actors trained in all the arts required by musical Theatre. They were all backed by a very strong chorus that convinced both by voice and movement that they really were throwbacks to the forties and the heyday of musical theatre par excellence. Other performances that were particularly convincing were Wendy Mae Brown as Martha ‘megaphone’ Watson and Garry Robson as General Henry Waverly.

Although this genre of theatre is not usually my cup of tea, I was swept along by the panache of this production and the performances of the whole cast. One last thing I ought to mention is the innovative lighting and impeccable sound from Diego Pitarch and Tom Marshall. A wonderful evening full of nostalgia in the hectic run up to Christmas.

Photo: Catherine Ashmore









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