Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sweet Charity -Review- Customs House

Sweet Charity
Customs House
15 Feb 2011

We are all looking out there for love, no more so than Charity Hope Valentine, the hapless Music Hall hostess of the Fan-Dango Ballroom. Admirers come and admirers go-like the flashing of the theatrical bulbs on stage.
Her friends in the ensemble think she is dreaming too much about the life and love outside of her seedy job, but Charity is adamant. Could she well find her soul-mate, maybe in the most unlikely of places?

South Shields Gilbert and Sullivan Society have put together a fabulous array of talent, from the high kicking girls in the chorus to the superb singing of the main cast. This visually brilliant and sparkling performance from some of Tyneside's best amateur stage actors, put a smile on the lips of a virtual full house.
The play set in New York, changed scene's-simple but very effective sets, comprising of dressing room, dance stages to sombre park bench- flawlessly from Central Park, Coney Island and to the infamous Pompeii Club, where the cast sung and danced their hearts out. Fantastic memorable numbers included the ballsy 'Hey Big Spender','If My Friends Could See Me Now' to the tender 'Too Many Tomorrows'. All of which turned the play into the 'West End' of South Shields.
The incredible Ashley Lamb as Charity, is a certain star in the making, her charismatic display was breath taking, her all round performance was worth the entrance fee alone. As with the bumbling and shy Oscar Lindquist played by Adrian Jackson who was very credible as Charity's leading love interest, his neurotic and often hilarious exhibition kept the audience in fits of giggles. Karen Ratcliffe and Natalie Elleithy as Helene and Nickie-Charity's fellow hostesses- sung, catcalled and smoked like troopers - like a breath of fresh air.
Lighting by Ian Johnston was 'spot' on, all synced up beautifully along with the fine score from John Milgate and his lively orchestra.
Directed by Gareth Hunter, produced by Allison Smith and choreographed by Nadia Wearn, Sweet Charity is a wonderful, bright and glitzy play, that banished the cold North East weather and provided warmth to the soul for two and a half hours.

Date: 15 Feb 2011 - 19 Feb 2011 Time: 7.30pm & 2.30pm (Saturday only)
Price: £12 (Tuesday), £13 (Wednesday to Saturday). Rows C & D and Side Seats £10 (all performances). Family tickets £42 (Tuesday and Friday only)
Michael Hunter

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