Wednesday, April 16 2016
What a joyous, hilarious show to see on a cold March night! This was my first Haslemere Players show and after this experience, I’ll be coming back!
Well done director Howard Bicknell, musical director Lizzie Hales and choreographer Debra Allen, for a well-paced, tight show with all the humour pointed up. The band was great, and I liked the seventies interval and pre-show music keeping the atmosphere bright and fun.
Jessica McCluskey was brilliantly cast as the streetwise wannabe nightclub singer Delores van Cartier, completely inhabiting the role from start to finish, with a mighty set of pipes to boot. Totally confident onstage, she led from the front and obviously loved her character. Spot on.
Vicki Gavin was also wonderful, and offered a complete contrast, as the Mother Superior, horrified at having this colourful character in her convent. Her voice is striking, too – a very pure sound, beautiful to listen to.
Chloe Johnson-Jones was terrific as the exuberant Sister Mary Patrick, beaming from ear to ear, while Abi Rogers played the timid Sister Mary Robert, finally standing firm when it comes to the crunch – a nice transformation.
The convent sisters were a great ensemble – and their song It’s Good to be a Nun reminded me at times of Book of Mormon – absolutely hilarious.
Judy Fowler must be commended on her rap performance as the gung-ho Sister Mary Lazarus – I loved her cheeky grin and her energy.
Tony Creasey was great as the Irish priest Monsignor O’Hara, delighted at the change in fortunes of the convent, and wearing ever more flamboyant vestments.
Andy Ermitage-Larby as Eddie the cop demonstrated his lovely, warm singing voice in I Could Be That Guy.
Bill Hudson was a wonderful Curtis, the dodgy hoodlum out to get Delores – his song When I Find My Baby with his little trio of falsetto backing singers – Christopher Sadler, Zac Rasulian (gosh he can hit some high notes!) and Peter Foster – bringing the house down.
The trio of gangsters also got the audience roaring in their number where they explained how to seduce a woman.
Yes, the American accents were a bit hit and miss occasionally and there were sound issues, but these were very minor points. It was a rowdy, laugh-a-minute, romp which got a standing ovation. A superb night’s entertainment – highly recommended.