Copyright © Wickersley Operatic Society, 2003.


ýóòèðàë êóïèòü â ìîñêâå . buy generic cialis online Rotherham Advertiser 23 February 2007

WICKERSLEY Operatic Society brings a fair slice of Broadway spectacle and panache to Rotherham Civic Theatre this week with their version of Guys and Dolls.

Not every American musical—legendary or not—is to my taste, but this one, and their take on it, make it very hard to be too picky.

There are plenty of juicy, larger-than-life characters to challenge the performers—in this show heavily weighted to the fellas—and a gaming table full of songs that, even if they are not all great, largely are memorable.

Wickersley always strike me as busting to achieve—even though odd times over recent years I have questioned choice of production and casting—but one thing there can be little doubt about is that everyone gives their best and, in some cases, that is highly impressive.

This year Dee Bennie-Marshall is both stage and dance director and again she is to be congratulated on her work and standards.

Dee's early background is dance—and her distinctive style shines through the full company and ensemble routines—but her staging and demands for pace in the dialogue scenes show an insightful appreciation of the fuller stage picture.

Although the setting is predominately the same—made by a professional company—it was a pleasant change to view a musical production which isn't a constant round of curtain closures, scenery changes and general hurly burly.

The many costumes too, rightly deserve a mention, colourful and with a just-out-of-the-box look and the orchestra—MD is Heather Matthews—create a quality of sound which is not always heard at the Civic.

The guys are New York professional gamblers and the lead dolls, two very different females—Miss Adelaide Adams, the long-suffering fiancee of floating crap game hustler Nathan Detroit, and Sergeant Sarah Brown, a leading light at the Save a Soul Mission.

Steve Morrell has been coaxed out of his "resting" period to play the devious Detroit, who has been engaged to Adelaide for 14 years.

Devious yes, but warmly engaging too, and Steve captures much of the humour his character offers.

Jude Grey is superb as the screeching, prone-to-colds, neglected fiancee.

Deliberately ungainly, she obviously has a gift for comedy which complements her more dramatic qualities for which I know her the best.

Rob McVeigh—wobbling to great effect in his fat suit—is excellent again as Detroit's sidekick, Nicely-Nicely Johnson, both vocally and in his acting.

Young Ash White, substantially younger than his character Big Jule, adopts a from-the-boots gruffness which can't be doing his throat any good at all and Brian Gent's portrayal suggests that this Harry the Horse has spent some time in South Yorkshire.

A standout highlight is the dance cameo from Alisha Flintham (Lola) and Jordan Hinchliffe (Manalo)—choreographed by Kirstie Bennie—as they take centre stage in a dive in Havana which lit up the Civic stage.

On the night I attended there was an attempted cover-up of a delayed entrance by Detroit due to a tight costume change prior to his long-awaited wedding, but overall there appeared to be few glitches.

Amid all the more celebrated songs, I have always liked the beautiful low-key number, More I Cannot Wish You, and here Alan Thompson's (Arvide Abernathy) delivery didn't change my mind.

Jonathan Taylor plays the laid-back, upmarket gambler, Sky Masterson, who eventually wins the heart of Sarah, and his interpretation early on was certainly that, and for me, dangerously so.

His more forceful later playing was excellent, as it needed to be, because Carol Capell's Sarah is highly impressive.

A debut maker with Wickersley, but with lots of experience of leading roles elsewhere, she has an unforced presence which commands the stage and, together with a fine voice, she is one classy act.

The bottom line is Wickersley perform their hearts out—and it shows.

Guys and Dolls continues until tomorrow, with a matinee at 2.30pm.

Terry Ellis

Tel: 0114 2877289  E-Mail: