Archive for May 2017

Oklahoma – Lola reviews

Local theatre reviewer, Lola, reviews Oklahoma! 

“Bookham Light Opera Society chose wisely in offering Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first musical collaboration for their Nomad theatre production this year. With plenty of well known songs and opportunity for lively dances they were surely on to a winner.

The well organised set, together with the effective lighting and well designed costumes effectively established the scene of 1906 Oklahoma. The musicians led by James ‘Mr Music’ Marr underpinned the action perfectly and must take their share of the credit for an engaging production.

oklahoma review BLOS curly laurey

The casting was spot on, Melanie Kemp portrayed Laurey as both strong minded and vulnerable when the characterisation required it. Her singing raised the quality of the production. Michael Ayres‘ Curly was an interesting mixture of introspection and confidence in particular at the social where he shows his determination to win Laurey’s affections.

 

oklahoma review BLOS curly jud

I was much taken by John Beavis’ Jud. Slow and menacing, he is in contrast to the the more romantic things going on around him. John carried off the role wonderfully well. Joanne Silcox as Aunt Eller and Vykki Mash as Gertie both looked to be enjoying their roles as did Julian Warner-Edney (Will), and Colin Barnard (the ranch owner), and added to the gaiety of the show by the exuberance of their singing and dancing. A word for the ‘dream’ ballet sequence, Matt Gardner and Laura Thomson showed dancing ability and poise not always seen at the Nomad theatre.

oklahoma review BLOS laurey curley dream ballet

Richard Peachey again showed his gift for comedy in his portrayal of Ali Hakim whilst Sophie Johnstone almost stole the show with the consistentcy of energy and vigour in her scenes.

 

oklahoma review BLOS laurey ado annie

There are several set pieces in Oklahoma! that drive the story along: the principals have their songs, the dances are important to the entertainment and the plot must of course be made clear to the audience. Yet the running time of over two and a half hours was a tad long, maybe some judicious cutting might have been made without diminishing the enjoyment of the story.

Overall a competent production with fine singing and movement. I cannot finish this review without a word for Sid Dolbear‘s magnificent ‘tache which almost acted his eyebrows off the stage!”

Lola

Oklahoma! by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

In association with Bookham Light Operatic Society Facebook Link
Directed by Jackie Shearer

oklahoma review BLOS ali hakim

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Happiness by Paul Matthews – Lola reviews

Local theatre reviewer, Lola, reviews the studio production of “Happiness” by Paul Matthews

“The play is set over three summer days in July and is bookended by a funeral and a wedding. Or is it? Will the wedding take place? Over the course of two hours the central character Philippa Farnsworth goes through several emotions as she reflects on what will bring her the best chance of future happiness. Suzanna Walters as Philippa played her role with adroitness and expertly moved through a range of difficult emotions as her character struggled to understand and accept that her future might be happier with Simon than with Christopher.
 happiness paul matthews review suzanne walters philippa matthew weaver christopherAs her fiance Christopher, Matthew Weaver convincingly showed us a brittle character who had concerns of his own which possibly prevented him from being able to provide the happiness which Philippa wanted. Kenny Menet-Hawkins was perhaps a little young for the portrayal of Simon but nonetheless played his part in showing us–and Philippa–that he was the better bet for a happier marriage than the self obsessed Christopher.
The play is a mixture of serious moments mixed with elements of farce (including the staple of a middle aged man losing his trousers !), and the cast, under the capable direction of Tracey Gillard, handled the switches from comedy back to seriousness with some alacrity. happiness paul matthews review emily ingold iain mcfarlaneAs Florence Merry, a woman with her own regrets, Moyra Brookes excelled and acted with the panache and style Nomads have come to expect from her. Hayley Clines as Martha played the part with enthusiasm and clearly thoroughly enjoyed playing the role of the faithful research assistant. Light relief came in the form of Iain MacFarlane‘s uncle Brian. Blustering and overly jovial the underlying warmth came through his (at times), Aussie larrikin tactlessness. Emily Ingold was a delight as Christopher’s sister Louise, playing the would-be maneater with great relish.The Nomads put the show on in the intimate space of The Studio. There is great scope for interesting theatre here that might not attract large audiences in the main house. It is to be hoped we see more shows here in the future.”

Lola

 happiness paul matthews review
 See more reviews here: Review pages