Latest News

SHOWS RESCHEDULED

Published:

In an effort to give some clarity and certainty to our audiences and members alike during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are rescheduling our planned productions now, rather than waiting for government announcements regarding the lifting of restrictions. Our forthcoming production dates will now be ...

Read More

Musical tribute to former leading lady

Published:

We are saddened by the recent passing of Davina (Dee) Jones. Davina was a member of BOST for many years and was a talented performer and good friend. She first joined in 1979, fresh out of University, for our production of The Sound of Music. ...

Read More

West End Masterclass series launched

Published:

Theatre fans given the chance to join exclusive online events with West End stars We have launched a series of special West End Masterclasses, which will be held throughout the year, with a different West End star taking part each time. Exclusive to BOST’s membership base, ...

Read More

Keep up to date with our latest news

Enter your email address here:

 

Hello, Dolly! (2019)

Last season BOST took a noirish journey into the sinister, unsavoury savoury world of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.

This year they’ve swapped the worst pies in London for the best dinner in New York, served up in a colourful and warm-hearted production of the preposterous tale of meddling Manhattan matchmaker Dolly Levi.

It’s an ambitious staging of the Stewart/Herman musical, with energetic choreography which spills off the stage and promenades on to ramps and a catwalk which together encircle the band in the pit.

The design stops the action becoming too lateral and gives it an extra sense of movement and pace.

At the centre of this production are not one but two leading ladies – principal player Pat Davies as BOST’s Dolly dazzler, and veteran director Elsie Kelly who is hanging up her director’s hat after almost 50 years with the company.

As swansongs go, Kelly should be pleased with what her performers achieve. This is an amateur company with a professional attitude, and there is a lot of experience on show here (including, in a tribute to Kelly, a brief guest appearance by West End actor and dancer Graeme Henderson as a tap-dancing chef).

The chorus are in strong voice through the big ensemble numbers – buoyed by a bright and breezy orchestra (whose overtures deserve to be listened to, not talked over!), and there are a number of impressive solo performances.

Last season’s Sweeney, Tony Prince, clearly relishes his baddie role as the irascible Scrooge-like miser Hector Vandergelder, while Sarah Chidlow, playing sparky widow Irene Molloy, has a lovely clarity to her soprano singing voice.

And then there’s the simply delightful double act of John Francis Viagus and Brian Comer as Vandergelder’s naive and put-upon clerks Cornelius and Barnaby, who get a taste of freedom on a madcap day out in the big city. The pair have great comic timing and are incredibly watchable whenever they set foot on stage.

Meanwhile Davies sweeps majestically through her scenes as the fast-talking, scheming Dolly, the matchmaker who just wants to settle down.

There are still a handful of sections that need smoothing out and tightening up, but all in all BOST has delivered another impressive production of a musical favourite.

Arts City Liverpool rating: ★★★★

 

© 2020 Birkenhead Operatic Society.
Alexander Hall, 24A Clifton Road, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 2SG
Charity No/259 306.

Royal Court Theatre
Gladstone  Theatre Port Sunlight
Floral Pavilion New Brighton
Liverpool Empire Theatre