Review Show 2011 - 'Onwards & Upwards'
A Message from Adam.....
Just wanted to say to all of you what a
fantastic show you put on and how brilliantly I thought everyone did. I was
particularly impressed by the focus that everyone- even the littl'uns! kept all
the way through, and how everyone looked out for each other. From an acting
point of view there were some very fine comic creations- lots of talent on
display in the 'Wartime Train Platform Scene'! (apologies for renaming it) Some
very good voices too in the musical numbers. All in all it was a great evening-
so thanks for that! Hope to see you all soon, keep working hard.
Review from an Audience Member
As well as two of us I brought my friends Cynthia and John Carver. Cynthia is an extraordinary woman – although their life has been really uphill lately – and was awarded the MBE a year or two back for her work with Gypsy children and the Gypsy Community. In short – everything she has done and still does is about, “believing the best” and setting – and expecting – high standards from people who society is perhaps far too inclined to write off.
I mention this so you can see we attended, not knowing what to expect, but with an essentially “supportive” attitude, I am sure we expected to make allowances and am sure that we expected something “down” from standard corn exchange fayre.
We had a strange evening in that having rushed to get there and taken our seats as the first words were spoken, so were perhaps somewhat jangly. Immediately behind us was the wheelchair row and I wasn’t sure what I thought of the person immediately behind me who seemed to recognise everybody, join in at all times and distracted considerably from the performance. I guess I wondered if this was taking tolerance a bit too far.
The first 3 revue numbers passed in pleasant enjoyment. Again – it was all new to me. The dance number with the two girls was elegant, the signing /singing stylish – I was feeling my way in.
The Play stopped me in my tracks. The script, the scenery, the acting, all made me sit up straight in my seat and let go to sheer enjoyment of a first class dramatic production. I was in 1942 ! It had a lot of substance and some very light stylish touches. Excellent !! (note for next time – it was sometimes hard to hear some characters, this seemed a function of microphones though not actors – esp the butcher and vicar)
The second half was great. The pub and kitchen sketches were in the classic tradition of revue and executed with consummate acting skill. The two dark suited chaps and Teddy were measured, clear and held the stage with a high degree of poise. The – almost Morecombe and Wise - touches involving being locked in, trousers, etc were just right – well written, well directed, well delivered. Teddy was fun too and for a young lad did a difficult job.
The 80’s compilation was fabulous. First off – only slight caveat - let me say that it might not have lost anything if it was 10 minutes shorter. There seemed a lot of years. This is a 5% comment however to be balanced against a 95% WOW… It’s not easy to know where to start but it can be said for starters that the singing was strong and filled the not inconsiderable auditorium. It was really terrific to see vocal leads shared out.. beginning to get a real feel of what LHMTC is about !! … and back to the singing.. boy oh boy could they go !! (I realise that’s not a standard music critics comment .. but the whole audience was by now caught up in an deliciously irresistible momentum).
While it is invidious to mention individuals when LHMTC is clearly all about collective artistic expression – it has to be said that the 5 girl line who lead the half hour plus spectacle were step and word perfect, very fit and athletic, tireless, scintillating and quite brilliant. The girl in the yellow vest deserving particular praise as the fulcrum for 50 people whose evident pleasure and confidence shone out across the stage – and audience !!! (Cynthia and John were much taken with the caretaker in Attache Touche, also one of the 5 girl lead line in the 80’s and feel she would have a career ahead of her on stage if she wished).
By now I was lost to the LHMTC and when my neighbour in the audience found Agadoo very exciting and joined in with particular gusto – so did I ! It was all part of the unstoppable force. I can’t think of a better way to describe my experience.
From curtain up it was obvious – and could not have been otherwise – that the musical setting, the wizardry of the stagecraft, lighting and thorough rehearsing had all been and were all BETTER than anything I had seen in and around West Norfolk. This was all West End style polish and class – and the cast deserve not one jot less that the “Best there is”.
As we walked across the Tuesday Market Place to our car I felt warm and happy – a feeling I’ve woken up with this morning, to have been part of such an uplifting and affirmative evening. I saw by the street lights tears on Cynthia’s cheek. She had seen someone else believing the best and expecting the best of sometimes marginalised young people.
It should be emphasised that to a, “first timer”, the LHMTC take a bit of, “understanding” (my partner Karen’s words). It isn’t like anything any of the 4 of us had seen before. I’m not sure what we expected.. I know what we got.. my friend John who is somewhat more hard bitten than his wife voiced it as we drove back… “That was an ******* good night out – can’t those youngsters sing and dance ! “
He judged it purely in terms of entertainment – and it was not found wanting on any counts. (I assure you he would have said if he had’nt liked it !! He had earlier seen the ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and the Chas n’ Dave show – and had not spared either of these his criticism who he thought lack lustre and coasting)
To summarise – It took us a while to “Get it”. It’s all about the best. I carry with me images of 50 (well I counted 48 at one point) people celebrating their undoubted talents, comfortable and consummately professional on stage, assured, making the stage a spellbinding experience… singing and dancing, in perfect and breathtaking spectacle.
As a footnote all my 3 guess wanted to express their admiration of the cast member who wore a blue wig and sang a couple of songs in the 80’s spectacle – as the unobtrusive glue that held a huge cast exquisitely together.
Well done – we’d come again for sure and loved it. It just took the first half to “Get it”.. the audience have to no ore than enjoy the VERY BEST THERE IS.
Hope you can relax a bit now.
N.O.D.A. (East) Review
by Sue DuPont - Region 5