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
The big audience was gripped by the story, enjoyed the singing style, the stylised Herod with dancers and the very well characterised Pilate, the awesome priests, a jealous Judas, good apostles and a dignified, human yet godly Christ, and a beautiful, sweet-voiced Mary, but best of all, was the team work. The pyramidal set -all steps- made immense physical demands as the crowds moved on them, whether in streets or the temple, or as part of the trial. The cross was impressive, rising in the last scene, and there was immense sensitivity throughout. The lighting makes its own statements with so many visible angled and coloured lights and some moments were pure artistry.
The whole show was such a joyous success. All congratulations!
Jesus Christ Superstar (2010) – Wirral Champion
BOST present the creme-de-la-creme of local talent in their latest production. Stepping back to the ’30s, the large ensemble impressively combines song, drama and eclectic styles of dance, to capture the essence of the era. Accents and facial expressions are extremely believable, especially those of Gareth Casey Morris (Bella Zangler), whose grasp of declamatory techniques is strong. Linzi Stefanov (Polly Baker) never fails in making you smile, her beautiful tone of voice in the songs “Someone To Watch Over Me” and “But Not For Me” being an absolute joy to listen to. The rapport between Simmons and Morris in “What Causes That” is thoroughly entertaining, the direction of Elsie Kelly working wonders in this scene. Bouncing off each other’s behaviour so humorously would not be out of place in a professional show. BOST promises a night of stunning live music, plenty of feel good moments, beautiful costumes and scenery – really, who could ask for anything more!
Crazy For You (2010) – What’s On Stage
Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust’s choice of musical to put on at the Empire this year couldn’t be more apt, set as it is in the Great Depression of 1933. Harnessed to a pretty divine score … and an orchestra from the Royal Northern College of Music, the singing was the great joy of this production… even the most minor members of the cast excelled in scenes like the first in Act 2, where the cast arrive in Philadelphia. Graeme Henderson, a seasoned choreographer, created some mesmerising routines evoking all the leg-kicking dazzle of the30s… as in the final scenes of Pretty Lady, the fictional show. Gareth Casey-Morris as Julian Marsh stole the show with a performance that would credit any professional outfit… The cast and technicians of BOST had, incredibly, only two full rehearsals on the Empire stage before curtains went up, but the first night passed with barely a hitch. BOST put on a night of top notch entertainment that did exactly what a good musical should. For two hours it spirited the audience away from shrinking budgets, taxes, politicians and expense scandals – to an altogether sunnier side of the street. 9/10 Has Legs Liverpool Echo 14/05/09 Its the musical about performers’ love for theatre, music and dance. So its apt that Birkenhead Operatic Society members, all busy rehearsing in their spare time, chose 42nd Street as their Empire performance. Harnessed to a pretty divine score… you were reminded of the company’s operatic pedigree time and time again – even minor members of the cast excelled. Choreographer Graeme Henderson created some mesmerising routines… Jay Hardy’s bravura tap routine as Andy Lee in Go Into Your Dance was an obvious highlight… as were scenes of Pretty Lady… Gareth Casey-Morris as Julian Marsh stole the show… Versatile Amanda Lane,18, as Peggy Sawyer, will be a talent to watch in years to come…. It was a loud production… but the voices were so good, it wasn’t a problem. BOST put on top notch entertainment, thanks to their passion for performance, visible in every scene. It would hold its own next to many professional productions.
42nd Street (2009) – Liverpool Daily Post
Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust, with a budget of thousands and great ingenuity, performed The Scarlet Pimpernel in the Empire Theatre. Elsie Kelly (Director) and Meryl Langford (Chairman) saw [the show], … and decided they could stage it without the Broadway millions and THEY HAVE! Oh the glamour! … What a first appearance [Marguerite] has, … in a dress to die for, needing quadruple doors to get through, not knowing that her foppish (pretence) husband is really a James Bond character, rescuing the French nobility from the guillotine. (Yes, its there against a blood red sky, really chopping off heads, which fall into the basket!) Oh the wonder of the opening of the second half in a mirrored ballroom (they couldn’t move St. George’s Hall) with swags and pillars and chandeliers, golden costumes and MASKS. Oh the splendid diction and perfect upper class vowels of “They seek him here, they seek him there”… Oh the swashbuckling fights, and the disguises, and the badness of Chauvelin (could be Les Mis) and the business with the cart and the boat, and a glorious company of men. Was that really Mark Gairrusso in disguises turning a small part into a great cameo role? Such glamorous maids, and knicker-showing tarts, and grande grande dames (pronounced the French way) and the quiet pathos of the prison, with the victims leaving when their names were called. Oh, lots and lots of singing…, and misunderstandings and spy rings are all part of it and the (paid) fly men in the fly tower fly in instant altars or ship’s sails, and (unpaid) stage managers carry stone balustrades and statuary into the rose garden, and leather sofas into the library. Amateur members of the company rehearse and rehearse, and learn to act, sing, speak, dance, fight, and have the discipline of the professional. Few professional companies could possibly afford so much talent on and back-stage. Such delights:- a full orchestra, with musical director, boy trumpeters, Jim Langford doubling as a boat builder, French armies, winsome ladies and of course ROMANCE. What an evening! … As FOPS you’re the TOPS! Whatever it COST dearest BOST, you’re the BEST!
The Scarlet Pimpernel (2009) – Wirral Champion
Following some highly competitive open auditions for ‘Sweeney Todd’, the panel have selected a very talented principal cast, who are now busy rehearsing with Director Elsie Kelly. With some recognisable names from previous BOST productions alongside some new faces, we’re pleased to reveal the talented ...Read More
Following our short – but very sweet – run of ‘My Fair Lady’ staged concerts earlier this month, we have received some loverly feedback from audience members and theatre critics alike. Here are just a few comments, reviews and pieces of feedback received: “The programme ...Read More
BOST Musicals are hosting an evening with ‘theatre guru’ and BOST Patron, Norah Button, later this year. Norah, who won the Freedom of the City of Liverpool Award in 2010 and was Co-Principal of Liverpool Theatre School, has had a hugely successful career as a ...Read More
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