Posts Tagged ‘noda’

NODA Review – A Christmas Carol

NODA South-East Councillor, Kay Rowan, reviews the recent production of A Christmas Carol by The Nomads at The Nomad Theatre in Surrey (find us).

A Christmas Carol – a step back in time to the Dickensian era. An true evening of nostalgia tinged with memories of Christmas’s past. This adaptation by Graham Botterill espoused all the nuances of the original novella but benefitted greatly from the technical advances in stage direction. The script was thoughtful and enhanced the action of the play.

The pleasure of espying this delightful theatre is only heightened by the splendid theatre vestibule and surroundings. All the front of house staff were dressed in period costume which further developed the “mood” ready for the performance.

The whole area of the stage was used at some point utilising the revolve to good effect. Very effective use was made of projection and video and the fly tower came into its own throughout. There was a minimum of props and furniture but quite enough to create the right effect on each and every scene. I particularly like the opening scene with Bob Cratchit’s desk down stage left with Scrooge’s alcove and the fire just to the left on the apron. The sound and lighting effects were very good throughout creating just the right amount of dismal glow without having to strain to see what was going on.

All the costumes, hair and makeup were particularly appropriate in all scenes. Mr Fezziwig’ hair was a joy to behold.
The use of songs by the ensemble served to raise the atmosphere of Christmas and family entertainment rather than promote music and singing for its own sake. All the music was well chosen
and executed. The solos were delightfully clear. The use of recorded music was very judicious with the right level, length and style inserted into the play at appropriate moments.

The adaptation of this Dickens novella was excellent. Graham is to be congratulated on his insight both of the original story, the ability to stage all the different scenes and guiding this fine cast to such a high standard of performance. The cast were a real team – this was exemplified by all the parts they undertook. – 20 actors for 60 parts! A truly outstanding production on all levels.

Congratulations to everyone involved for bringing this gesture to Christmas to the stage of The Nomad Theatre and for giving the audiences so much pleasure.

Kay Rowan – NODA South-East Councillor

The Nomads are members of NODA, which has a membership of 2500 amateur theatre groups and 3000 individual enthusiasts throughout the UK, staging musicals, operas, plays, concerts and pantomimes in a wide variety of performing venues, ranging from the country’s leading professional theatres to tiny village halls.

NODA review: Dick Whittington & his cat

NODA representative, Mark Allen, reviews the recent production of  Dick Whittingon and his cat by The Nomads at The Nomad Theatre in Surrey (find us).

The NOMADS – “Dick Whittington and his cat”

Nomad Theatre – 13th December, 2017

Author – Peter Denyer
Director – Andrew Hamel-Cooke
Choreography – Samantha Potten
Musical Director – Gareth Alber

Warmly welcomed by the front of house I was ushered into the bar and awaited meeting with Andrew, the director who extended his good wishes and requested we remain to meet the cast later. A refurbished and (purpose) rebuilt theatre, it was gratifying to see it almost full.

dick whittington review pantomime
Greeted with a relatively simple set which worked very well, the changes as they were, were slick and without much fuss. Well lit and with good sound too, the diction was clear and could be heard well above the three-piece band offset stage left.

dick whittington review pantomime surrey fairy

In true fashion the pantomime started and we were introduced to a motley cast of characters ably led by Sophie Johnstone as Dick, Daniel Shepherd, very boo worthy as
King Rat and the sweet and innocent Hayley Clines as [Fairy] Bow Bells, all three confident and audible.

dick whittington pantomime review dame
Michael Ayres played the dame Sarah the Cook, and seemed to be enjoying the role too, as was fairly evident. I liked the enthusiasm, it rubs off well!

dick whittington pantomime review
The cast and chorus were well drilled by Andrew Hamel-Cooke and the choreography (Samantha Potten) was well performed, and in the main all in time too! Again like Sarah the Cook, the chorus and associated cast (too many to mention) (Ed: see below for our comments!) were really enthusiastic and this came across well, helping the audience to a very good evenings entertainment.

dick whittington review pantomime surrey
Overall a really enjoyable evening, and well worth the drive to see it. Well done Andrew and well done Nomads.

Mark Allen
December 2017

The Nomads are members of NODA, which has a membership of 2500 amateur theatre groups and 3000 individual enthusiasts throughout the UK, staging musicals, operas, plays, concerts and pantomimes in a wide variety of performing venues, ranging from the country’s leading professional theatres to tiny village halls.

 

Editors comments

Unfortunately, the large cast meant that not everyone got a mention by name, but we wanted to add a few notes on their amazing performance!

Millie Jane Franks as Idle Jack was punchy, energetic and had fabulous stage presence!

Iain Watson (Alderman Fitzwarren) and Jeff Wightwick (Captain Cuttle) both embodied their characters with sincerity and humour.

As The Sultan of Morocco, Richard Peachey‘s accent work and nimble movement made for very lively scenes!

Sasha Plaché brought grace and wonderful singing to the part of Alice Fitzwarren.

King Neptune and his mermaid (Ricky Powell and Tilly Winford – not to be mixed up) were ethereal and deserving of the audience “oohs” and “aahs” under the sea.

Our not-very-dynamic duo of baddies, Gnashfang (Lisa Arnold) and Gnawbone (Johnny Diamond) were suitably nasty, horrible and comedic in equal measures.

Tommy The Cat played by Karolina Sepiak presented an amazing solo self-choreographed dance piece as well as plenty of laughs and cheers!

All the adults and children in the ensemble clearly worked very hard to present coordinated and energetic group songs and dances which the audience loved.

All of the production team should have a huge pat on the back too – costumes were fantastic as always,… make-up was striking and a great display of what Guildford College students can do,… props convincing and consistently well placed,… lighting enhanced the audience understanding of the story locations and sentiment,… sound kept the pace and humour of the scenes,… staging, flying and scene changes were slick,… and the chaperones kept all of us in check… not just the children!

dick whittington pantomime review surrey millie jane franks idle jack

Millie Jane Franks as Idle Jack

Sophie Johnstone and Karolina Sepiak as Dick and Tommy

dick whittington pantomime review baddies king rat

Daniel Shepherd, Lisa Arnold and Johnny Diamond as the baddie rat pack

dick whittington pantomime review band gareth alber

The band (L-R) – Vito, Ryszard and Gareth

dick whittington review pantomime

Richard Peachey as The Sultan of Morocco

Ricky Powell and Tilly Winford under the sea