The Drowsy Chaperone
Paul Johnson | 04 Nov 2014 23:36pm
Erewash Musical Society presented The Drowsy Chaperone at the Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton. Parodying 1920’s musical comedies, the story concerns a middle-aged, asocial musical theatre fan; as he plays the record of his favorite musical, the (fictional) 1928 hit The Drowsy Chaperone, the show comes to life in his living room as he wryly comments on the music, story, and actors.
On his debut for Erewash, Mark Birch directed a very good first production (even more so, given the three month rehearsal timescale that he had to work within). Mark is evidently a clear fan of this musical and his enthusiasm and passion was felt throughout. Key direction elements such as simple setting, continuous action and spatial consistency were all present and well executed. MD, David Walker, handled the orchestration well, although the sound levels from the pit made for difficult listening at times, particularly over the dialogue. Group sound and harmonies were well balanced and the individual solo’s were well performed. The Choreography, provided by Laurie Trott, showcased a nice variety of dance ability within the ensemble and was very energetic throughout. The tap routine was excellent and the ability of the dance troupe was consistently good.
Brimming with many exaggerated and defined characters, this musical provides plenty of opportunity for a large cast and looked like a lot of fun for all those involved. Of particular note were the performances by Mark Haigh, who gave an excellent performance as Robert Martian, showcasing great acting, singing, dance and roller skating (yes) abilities; the Double Diva Duo of Alex Tavener (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Louise O’Boyle (Janet van de Graaff) who both performed with superb character portrayals and excellent vocal ability; David Hewitt, who did a fine job as the Man in Chair, holding the show together well and providing a very relaxed performance; and last, but by no means least, Phil Deakin, who provided an excellent show-stealing comic performance as self-proclaimed famed Latin lover Aldolpho.
This musical was subtly complex technically, with multiple elements of sound, lighting, action and setting working simultaneously together, therefore technical planning, execution and ability was critical to succeeding with this production. I am pleased to say that bar a couple of minor issues, I thought that Mark and his team delivered on the technical aspects of this production extremely well, achieving consistent near-seamless transitions and good pace. The set, backstage work, sound and lighting all contributed and complemented.
Overall, this was a fun musical, with plenty of variety, which was generally well received by the local audience. From all at NODA Nottingham, keep up the good work and we look forward to seeing your next production.
- : admin
- : 07/04/2014