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
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
We are delighted to be supporting SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, during our production of ‘When The Lights Go On Again’. SSAFA has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. Every year their team of volunteers and employees help more ...Read More
We’ll be giving Heswall audiences an exclusive preview performance of songs from ‘When The Lights Go On Again’ on Saturday 28th March. Our Concert Party will be performing a short extract of the WWII era songs, along with many other musical favourites at our upcoming ...Read More
We have won a super 7 NODA North West District 4 Awards 2020! These accolades are associated with our 2019 performances of ‘Hello Dolly’ and ‘A Christmas Carol – the musical’. A full list of winning titles can be found below: BEST MUSICAL – A ...Read More
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