Theatre Roundup: Week 5
The Tab’s new anonymous reviewer samples the highs and lows of the mid-term drama scene
Thoroughly Modern Millie – Trevelyan College Musical Society
Thoroughly Modern Millie had everything that a musical should; strong vocals, a fantastic band, ridiculous romance, hidden identities, and flapper dresses. Small-town girl Millie Dillmount (Sorrel Brown) transported the audience from the aesthetically questionable Trevs dining hall into the roaring twenties of New York City, with Brown’s impeccable vocal range complimented well by Jimmy Smith (Adam Richardson)’s tenor. Annie Moberly was also impressive as the deliciously evil Mrs Meers, a failed actress whose latest ‘role’ is coordinating a white slavery ring, and the on-stage chemistry between Ching Ho (Nick Denton) and the naïve Miss Dorothy (Maddy Shaw Roberts) formed one of the highlights of the play.
Overall, the vocals of the entire cast were stunning. Yes, there were some flat notes, lacklustre dance steps, and moments where the band drowned out the singing, but these all paled in comparison to their exuberant talent. Final-night enthusiasm had infected the whole cast and this excitement transferred to the audience, making it an enjoyable night for all involved.
Lords and Ladies – Ooook! Productions
The first thing to note about Ooook!’s latest offering is the spectacular set which, coupled with the slick tech, set the scene for a truly magical experience. Unfortunately, on the whole the acting did not live up to this initial expectation.
The play opened on the graveyard which was accompanied by some discordant humming that sounded like 3am outside Stanton’s. Indeed, moments were painful to watch, and exchanges often characterised by stilted dialogue and unnatural interactions. However, there were some moments of humour, for example the chemistry between the ‘mechanicals’ (a reference to Shakespeare’s own creations), which was a joy to watch, even achieving a spontaneous applause after a particularly thrilling scene. Matt Elliot-Ripley was the stand-out performer of the play, balancing melodrama with true sincerity and showing fantastic physicality and comic timing.
Although director Imo Rolfe succeeded in engaging the audience in moments of great comedy, these were too readily interspersed with dull, drawn out and jerky scenes. However, judging by the peals of laughter emanating from the audience (sometimes much to my surprise), it clearly appealed to some, and for that it deserves some credit.