SMuTS present their latest Musical: ‘Chicago’

Everything was amazing

Last night, at the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts on campus, I had the pleasure of watching the opening night of ‘Chicago’, performed by the Sussex Musical Theatre Society (SMUTs) and directed by Gaby Coleman. While I might be viewed as slightly bias as I have previously been a member of the society, I think that that only made me ready to be more critical going into the performance.

I must say they really blew my expectations out of the water. Everything was amazing. The set, designed by Aine Caunter, was simple yet incredibly effective and with the use of lighting could be transformed to suit whatever the scene required.

I really want to give credit to the people working behind the scenes of this show. Anne Saunders was the stage manager of the show with Odette Robertson as her deputy and they truly nailed it. All of the transitions between the scenes were executed with so much precision, it truly felt like a professional show.

The lighting, designed by Max Juan-Balch, was well thought out and really added to overall effect of the show. No matter how good the actors are, the people behind the scenes can really make or break a show and in this case they all made the show even more incredible.

I also want to a massive shout out to the band of this show, led by Danny Bail. The band did not miss a beat and aided the singing with expert precision. They are all truly talented musicians without whom there would be no show.

Now on to the cast. All of the leading characters embodied their roles perfectly and bossed every single song. I don’t think I saw any of the leads drop character at all throughout the entire show. I want to in particular congratulate the two leading ladies, Georgia Brown and Mia Gourlay, who played two difficult roles with lots of singing and dancing while making it seem effortless. I don’t think I stopped smiling all the way through the show and was beaming with pride after despite not even knowing the girls.

The whole chorus was also amazing. The dances, choreographed by Alicia Sharp, were by no means easy but were performed with 100 per cent effort and so much confidence that even when counts were missed the numbers did not suffer at all. It was clear that the cast were all so happy to be on the stage and that only made the performance so much better.

I was expecting there to be some nerves shining through considering it was opening night but I didn’t pick up on any of that. They all had me in fits of laughter, it was incredible.

A massive well done to everyone involved in making this show happen. I cannot praise the production team, as well as the SMUTs committee, enough for the quality of this show. I’m sure that the performances will only get better over the next few days, though I don’t know how much better it could’ve been.

Get your tickets for the show here.

Photos courtesy of Malcolm Tam