National Operatic and Dramatic Association - NODA
Clacton Amateur Operatic Society
Princes Theatre, Clacton
24th May 1996
This production, directed by Valerie Massey, with choreography by Nikki Mundell-Poole, brought out the vitality and tensions of the piece to the full, with a well balanced and energetic cast. The big production numbers had plenty of punch and energy, with emphasis on the humour, maintaining a good balance with the love interest and more sober elements of the plot. It says much of the pace and innovation of the direction on what can often seem to be an over long Act I kept a tight grip on the audience’s attention throughout. Major principal parts were all well played, with Jim Sissons making the most of Billis, and his wife June putting fire and energy into a formidable Bloody Mary. Tony Blackshaw was in good voice and his gentle but determined Emile was well matched with Catrina Grimsey’s outgoing, gauche and thoroughly likeable Nellie. Liat and Cable, were well played by Abigail French and Danny Scott respectively, both with nice voices, though the latter’s singing was occasionally at odds with that of the music. Brackett and Harbison were convincing senior officers without resorting to melodrama, and the two children, as usual, stole their part of the show!
Costume and scenery were to a good standard and some of the lighting effects were excellent. David Cawdell directed a tightly controlled orchestra, and a good singing chorus. I must say that the balance between the orchestra and the stage was super, and quite the best I have heard in this theatre for some time, for which due credit must go to the Sound team.
Overall this was an excellent production, and congratulations are due to the whole Company.