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Old Time Music Hall review

posted 1 Mar 2009, 04:58 by Chilbolton Players   [ updated 1 Mar 2009, 04:59 ]
Chilbolton Players presented sell out evenings of Old Time Music Hall Entertainment on 7th and 8th December. The evening was compèred by the irresistible, incorrigible, illustrious Mike Davis. He took us through an enjoyable evening of songs, sketches, monologues and short plays.
In the first half we sang along to old time favourites like “my old man said follow the van” and we dillied and dallied through a plethora of sketches. These included an interpretation of the Lion and Albert which started with Mother (Pam Harpham) having trouble with the deck-chair on Blackpool beach and Father (Jim Dunne) being no help at all! Albert (Terry Gilmour) was irrepressible and unaware of his impending doom. Following this was a monologue “Keeping up with the Joneses” where Gilly Walton gave us a rendition of old fashioned neighbourhood watch. The next sketch was Baron Von Finkelstein's Freak Show and Circus. Andrew Coombes, as the very accented and military German Baron, introduced us to the beautiful bearded lady played with much slapstick by Nicky Walker and Hercules (George Coombes) demonstrated his weight lifting prowess to much tittering. The sketch concluded with the launching of Judy Palmer out of a canon and she returned from on high as a rather blackened Georgia Munns. Also in the first act was an extract from the play the Red Barn in which a suitably sinister Andy Hawke was the villain of the piece and Fiona Talbot played the fair maiden swooningly. The first act was concluded with Songs from Oliver. This showed the talents of the younger members of the cast. Laura Budd in her solo 'where is love' sang sweetly to great applause. The first act finished with a lively rendition from all the cast doing the Lambeth Walk.
During the interval the excellent live band TT's 4X4's played whilst we ate our delicious sausage and mash supper.
The curtain rose for the second half and a monologue by Trish Conlon about her extensive bottom drawer. Then we were entertained with romantic old time sing songs including Daisy Daisy and I'm Getting Married in the Morning. The next sketch was the Lighthouse Keepers Daughter narrated by Maggie Duffy. The cast Nigel Munns, Angie Budd, Gilly Walton Andy Hawke and Andrew Coombes all mimed their parts well. They ascended and descended the lighthouse steps with great enthusiasm and although the lighthouse keepers daughter nearly missed the boat this only added an opportunity for audience participation!
Fiona Talbot's poem then related concerns of men (or lack of them!) under the bed. Following this the younger members of the cast (Amy Budd, Laura Budd, Ben Connor, Camilla Dodson, Oliver Dodson, Elise Geernaert, Fleur Geernaert, Isobel Hawke, Georgia Munns and Coraleigh Saunders) supported by Julie Connor and Santa himself presented with aplomb the legend of Santa Claus.
After this the story of Scrooge narrated by Sheila Brain was condensed to15 minutes! Nigel Munns played Scrooge a little too credibly. The ghostly apparitions were updated with Bob Marley played drolly by Coraleigh Saunders telling Scrooge to change his ways which of course he did.
The finale of the evening had a Christmas theme. The cast looked very attractive all dressed in red and we sang along to such favourites as Rudolph the red nosed reindeer and White Christmas.
Behind the scenes mention must be made of the beautifully painted backdrops, and the stage props. Jennie Pope showed her talents as the costume lady as the number of costumes were both extensive and in period. Although I have mentioned by name some of those taking part everyone, both on stage and off, should be complimented for entertaining us so well. Directors Sue Austin and Angie Budd must be congratulated for pulling off an ambitious, varied and thoroughly enjoyable evening of entertainment. Well done Chilbolton Players.
Mandy Coombes