By Nova Horley
Such a fun show, and one where the cast had obviously gelled and had a whale of a time, which translated to the audience and increased our enjoyment. Sam Gaines directed well, and gave the production a sense of freshness and humour.
The simple set worked well, all the props and different small scene changes were accomplished with minimal fuss, which meant the whole production flowed well.
The set was enhanced by some amazing lighting from Fred Rayment. Our Regional Councillor was especially enthusiastic about this element of the production, and the use of gobos projected onto the ceiling of the Hall. The lighting effect for the finale was great, and I loved the All About the Green, with the final tableau lighting creating a super look and feel.
The costumes were all very colourful and on the whole suitable.
Choreography from Fleur Baikie was extremely good all the way through, with the ensemble in All About the Green being especially sharp. The numbers worked well, and everyone was able to really give it their all.
Musically Beth Thomas always gets the optimum from her singers and musicians, there were a couple of places where sound balance was not good, but this is always a problem in the Halls. The band was excellent, and really gave themselves to the music, which gave us a lot of enjoyment. Harmonies from the cast were maintained well.
Robbie, the wedding singer of the title, was played very well by Adam Thompson, a new face to HLOS, both from an acting and singing point of view. He gave it his all, such energy and some lovely moments in his duets with Julia. A good all round performance.
Anna MacDonald created a charming Julia, and I liked her relationship with Robbie, and also with Holly. Anna always gives a well-studied often slightly under-stated portrayal, which contrasts nicely with the other characters.
Holly, played by Georgina Dalton, was a good full-on character, creating an added dimension between herself and Julia – and a real empathy, which made it seem very real.
Robbie’s bandmates Sammy and George, played by David Barton and Damien Winchester respectively, gave us good contrasting characters, David slightly calmer and the more respectable of the two, with a very extravagant blonde curl to his wig – which went well with the character. Damien always brings great performance skills to any part, and this was no exception – I loved the comedy and campness he put into the part, along with the great costumes and wigs. I liked the whole trio, they contrasted and interacted well with each other, and gave us good musical skills as well.
Carl Robinson created a good character as Glen Guglia, older and more worldly than Julia and her friends, with a suave, slightly sleazy edge, which suited the part.
Linda – Robbie’s intended who walked out on him – was beautifully played and sung by Roxie Parkins – such a deep, full voice, with a bright and lively interpretation.
I thought Sarah Priddy gave us a lovely performance as Rosie, Robbie’s Grandma, a good comedy portrayal, with a stylish edge. Extremely amusing, I loved her duet with George, they are both larger than life and gave it their all.
Christy Monson performed Angie very well, with nice empathy with her daughter.
I loved the way the whole cast and the junior ensemble really got into the feel of the production and the choreography, everyone did a super job, and along with the principals created a good quality, fun show that upheld the HLOS standard.
John Manning - Herts Advertiser
THE SHOW GOES ON DESPITE BIN MISHAP
Sheer determination ensured members of the Harpenden Light Operatic Society reached the end of their performance on their opening night of The Wedding Singer on Monday.
Part way through the first half a giant industrial wheelie bin in which the leading man, Adam Thompson, was hiding to escape from angry wedding guests crashed off the stage at the Harpenden Public Hall and into the orchestra pit.
Although badly shaken he and members of the orchestra were able to carry on after a few minutes.
The show, which dates from 2006, and was based on a film of the same name, typifies the musical and fashion genre of the 1980s. It is brash, racy and loud and that led to the second problem faced by the cast.
Unfortunately, the sound system at Harpenden Public Hall is simply not good enough for this type of show and members of the audience had great problems in hearing words and so could not follow the convoluted plot.
The story of The Wedding Singer is a twist on boy meets girls and falls in love. In this case boy is jilted by girl number one and falls for another, but she is just about to marry a rich Wall Street finance shark.
Needless to say all’s well that ends well.
The boy is Robbie Hart, lead singer of a band that sings at weddings and played by Adam Thompson who was making his debut with the society. His performance overall was sound with good acting ability.
Anna Macdonald as Julia Sullivan, the girl he fell in love with, had one of the best voices in the show and in spite of being the only other person on stage during the earlier incident, she gave a thoroughly good performance.
Others in the large cast of principals who stood out were Georgina Dalton, David Barton, Damien Winchester, Carl Robinson, Roxy Parkins and Sarah Priddy who created a wonderful Rose, the grandmother of Robbie.
Overall this was not a show for me, but it must be said that the band in the orchestra pit had some good tunes and handled them very well.
The show was directed by Sam Gaines, with musical director Beth Thomas and choreography by Fleur Baikie.
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