Media Comments

A selection of critics’ comments about some of our recent productions…

 

BOST’s production is simply lovely and a perfect Christmas treat. ..
The show is a visual treat, with the cast in sumptuous costumes, ballet dancers pirouetting gracefully, real ponies pulling a carriage – and even the surreal sight of dancing mice.

…Fairy Godmother (Pat Davies) is overworked and occasionally grumpy but is still able to work her magic – especially when Cinderella is transformed in an instant from a servant to a princes-in-waiting in a shimmering ball gown, ready for the ball. Just how did they do that?

Melanie Isaac is an appealing, sweet-voiced Cinderella, while Tony Prince brings heart and soul to a Prince who just wants to be in love with the woman he marries. Prince and Mark Gairruso as the forgetful, jovial King, manage to wring out every drop of wry humour from the script without veering into panto territory – ably supported by Frank Nance, who brings real gravitas to the role of Lord Chamberlain.

There are some brilliantly amusing moments which make even this fantastical fairytale feel very real.
Reflecting on the ball the morning after, one of Cinderella’s stepsisters grumbles that the Prince seemed taken with his mystery woman – ‘but then men always go for the obvious’.

But the star of the show is undoubtedly Cinderella’s impeccably trained dog – and you would have to have a heart of stone not to join in with the ahhs as the cute canine canters onto stage.

LIVERPOOL ECHO,  16th November  2013

 

 

The Slipper And The Rose

It might come as a surprise to discover the production currently on stage at the Royal Court comes from the Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust (BOST).

Oliver! And Oklahoma! it ain’t.

But more power to BOST’s elbow, because the entire cast has committed itself one hundred percent to this departure from the norm, and the result is a production rich in both pathos and comedy.

Under director Elsie Kelly it is packed with entertaining performances, and there’s a palpable sense of camaraderie between the six men who form “Hot Metal” with heartfelt and hilarious consequences.

Chris Simmons’ emasculated misogynist Jerry is the forceful leader of the pack, and the actor is a strong physical and vocal presence on the stage.  But there are lovely turns from each of the men, including David Robarts as chubby house-husband Dave and John Tetlow as the sensitive, depressive mummy’s boy Malcolm who finds affection from an unlikely quarter.

Still, while this is a man’s world, the women aren’t merely bystanders, with Linzi Stefanov giving a particularly feisty performance as Dave’s wife.

THE FULL MONTY

The Empire was alive with the sound of music last night as Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust brought the Rogers and Hammerstein show to the city stage. Although an amateur group, BOST put on an accomplished and impressive production.  Jessica Walters as Maria is certainly not a problem to be solved… (she) is irreproachable and her scenes with the Von Trapp children are a
delight.  Do-re-mi and The Lonely Goatherd are standout highlights.  The show maintains an energetic momentum.  Walters, the children and Gareth Casey Morris as the Captain, give fantastic performances, which appear far from amateur.  The highlight is, of course, the Von Trapp clan performing in
front of a giant Nazi flag and officers, a beautiful rendition of Eidelweiss.

The Sound Of Music (2012) – Liverpool Echo

Newcomers to the ranks of Birkenhead Operatic shows will, I am sure, join the ranks of those who have followed them in the past, congratulating them on on another excellent theatrical venture.  Tony Prince as Fagin was a tour de force.  Nancy was beautifully played and sung by Linzi Stefanov.  What can one say about the Director, Elsie Kelly?  Another triumph in a very long line of triumphs.  Long may she continue to delight us.

Oliver! (2012) – NODA

The triumph of the show belongs to BOST alone.  It was a delight to hear a traditional thatre band – much larger than most that accompany modern musicals now… and it is clear that the staging is anything but amateur.    As  Belle; Laura Coard brings much needed cheekiness to the beauty and Gareth Casey Morris as the beast is terrifying and vulnerable.  The Gaston and Le Fou double act is delightful, especially in the expertly choreographed tavern scene.  But the magic is truly felt in the castle and the enchanted servants that inhabit it.  Lumiere and Cogsworth, the candlestick and clock, give the audience another hilarious double act but special praise goes to Meryl Langford as the opera singer turned wardrobe, who got the biggest laugh of the night.  Be Our Guest is outstanding with the always in-tune ensemble also taking a starring role.  The finale is as good as many professional productions you could care to name.

Disney’s Beauty And The Beast (2011) – What’s On Stage

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