Date: 1 November 2013
Venue: Heworth Grange School, Gateshead
Type of Production: Musical
Producer / Director: Michelle Coulson
Musical Director: Jonny Winter
Choreographer: Helen Wilson
Review Author: Gwyneth Hunter
Well done Felling for picking such a classic show to celebrate your 90th Anniversary. The minute I saw the working carousel on the stage I knew I was in for a treat.
This was a fabulous show, funny, dramatic and emotional. The singing was good and the costumes were bright and pretty. The orchestra was brilliant, well balanced and never obtrusive, while the dancing was good and always appropriate to the scene and the mood. The audience reactions were evidence that they were loving every minute.
The casting was good with some outstanding performances. Ian Nugent as Billy Bigelow was super, with a great voice and he was brilliantly partnered by Lisa Given as Julie Jordan. Lisa was perfect for the role, and her singing was as good as ever. Kim Robinson gave a good, strong performance as Mrs Mullen, the carousel owner. It was good to see Bea Atkinson back in a leading role, as Nettie Fowler. She sang and acted with true professionalism. Her rendition of “When You Walk Tthrough a Storm” was well acted and very emotional.
There were a lot of great performances but for me the best, came from Lyn Sutherland as Carrie Pipperidge. Her fabulous voice, excellent acting, and ability to live the character in all its variety produced a memorable performance. She was a great foil for Stephen Halliday as Mr Snow. He gave a us a great humorous, pompous character and sang his songs with power. Of course, in amongst the goodies there has to be a baddy, and this came in the form of Brian Jordan as Jigger Craigin. He was a nasty piece of work, swaggering and sneering his way through the show.
Congratulations to everyone involved and here’s to your Centenary.