Post a Review
or email to email@example.com subject 'Drama Groups - Reviews'
include: Reviewer; Website; Region/County; Contact; Production; Review don't forget to attach photos & logo
All opinions expressed are those of the reviewer. www.dramagroups.com takes no responsibility for content or accuracy of any review.
Please remember when posting a review that it will be visible to the public.
In order to stop spammers picking up email addresses Drama Groups has adopted the standard of replacing the @ sign in an email address with 'at' - when using these email addresses please replace the 'at' with an @
See Michael Gray's Arts Blog here
Posted on 10/10/2012
Gillingham Dramatic Society
The following reviews have been supplied to Drama Groups by Gillingham Dramatic Society
Set in 1880’s London, this musical is based on “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson. It has been adapted many times for film and stage and this particular version appeared on Broadway in 1997.
The stark dark stage with only a staircase and ‘balcony’ set the scene and throughout, we were peering at the action through ‘atmospheric’ mist, which made it difficult at times to see anybody on that ‘balcony’. That said, the clever use of lighting, certainly made up for the lack of scenery and created such atmosphere, especially in ‘The Confrontation’, which needed good lighting timing.
Playing the very demanding dual role of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a very talented Scott Highway who portrayed the torment of Jekyll and the evil of Hyde, terrifying yet emotional through both his singing and acting. Another strong performance was given by Debbie Brennan, who used her moving voice, to reflect the vulnerabilities of her character, Lucy. Rebecca Lehmann was well suited to the part of Emma, Jekyll’s love interest and gave a very moving performance when she cradled Jekyll on his demise. Tarquin Flanagan gave a good portrayal as Jekyll’s friend John Utterson reflecting the feelings of a captivated audience. In fact, all of the supporting cast made their individual characters their own – well done.
There was excellent choreography by Emma Hodge on what looked like a very cramped area (is that why you needed the extra bit in front of the stage?).
The music of this show is fantastic and it was brought to us by an excellent MD Peter Bailey, leading a super orchestra, hidden at the back of the stage. Why no mention of them in the programme? The sound system was quite loud but worked well after a minor hiccup at the beginning. Costumes were good.
This really was an excellent production directed by Francene Harris, with every single member of the cast and backstage crew pulling of what is a difficult musical to stage.
Thank you Jeannette and Stephen for your kindness and hospitality and I hope to meet you all on a future occasion.
NODA Regional Rep.
Jekyll and Hyde
Written and composed by Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse.
society/company: Gillingham Dramatic Society (directory)
performance date: 05 Oct 2013
venue: The Hazlitt, Maidstone
reviewer/s: Susan Elkin (Sardines review)
The stage fills with smoke and coloured light as Victorian London emerges – the grubby reality of streets, the seedy faux glamour of brothels, counterpointed with the dry calm of a sitting room, the charm of a ballroom and the mysteries of a laboratory. We are firmly in Les Miserables country (although that’s the French equivalent, of course) with a dose of Oliver! and Sweeney Todd thrown in. And Frank Wildhorn’s Jekyll and Hyde music variously reminds me of all three.
Scott Highway, who is rarely off stage in the huge title roles, is the star of this show in every sense. He is a very good actor who manages the transitions between the earnest, honest, tidily coiffed Jekyll and the cackling, evil, manic, shaggy-locked Hyde with total conviction. Actors are meant to ‘present truth’ and that’s exactly what Highway does. Also a remarkable singer, Highway has an almost Pavarottian ability to sustain a long – and often quite high - note for bar after bar at the ends of songs, building momentum as he goes in apparent defiance of all the laws of biology and physics. His is an outstanding performance by any standards – and I review a great deal of professional theatre.
Debbie Brennan’s Lucy Harris is a highly accomplished piece of work too. She can do anything from spiky, immaculately articulated wit in the brothel scene, in which she cavorts and entices, by managing each accelerando and reprise with terrific poise, to full belt and a great deal of top notch acting through song, including the evocation of a great deal of sadness and poignancy. And there’s a fine performance from Rebecca Lehmann as Emma Carew, Jekyll’s hapless fiancée whose clear, bell-like, professional-standard soprano singing is a great asset to the show.
Musical Director Peter Bailey directs a superbly competent band – concealed behind an upstage curtain and not ‘discovered’ until the curtain call – and controls the singing beautifully. The impassioned quartet sung by Chas Alder (as Sir Danvers Carew), Scott Highway, Rebecca Lehmann and Tarquin Flanagan (as John Utterson) is a highspot, for example. So is the duet by Lehmann and Brennan in the second act.
Another star of this show is choreographer Emma Hodge who, working in the Hazlitt’s quite small playing area, moves her vibrant young chorus in such a way that the space seems much larger. The crowd scenes and the one in the brothel are some of the best things in the show. Watch out for Rae Hume too. She plays Nellie, the lead prostitute, but who has enough stage presence and talent to make her stand out even in this high quality show.
I have seen this version of Jekyll and Hyde by Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildhorn before and not liked it much – which all goes to show that a production’s success lies in what you do with the material. So congratulations Gillingham Dramatic Society. You’ve won me over.
This is a review from Mary Wills
Last evening I went to Maidstone's Hazlitt Theatre (hopefully soon to have a facelift) to see Jekyll and Hyde being performed by Gillingham Ops. And perform they did! I was gobsmacked (or any other more appropriate adjective you may prefer). The whole company – without exception – played their socks off on this the first night of their run. There was an amazing depth of talent and the total commitment of this accomplished company entranced their audience from the first note. I had never seen the show Jekyll and Hyde and hadn't realised how musically complex it is. To undertake to perform this was so brave – but my goodness their hard work and considerable talent really paid off. As mentioned previously the whole company were very special – all of the principals were quality – both in characterisation and voices. But everyone from Jekyll to Paper boys knew their role backwards; not one seemed in doubt or stumbled. If there were 'swans' among them – looking beautiful above the water while frantically paddling below – it didn't show. It is true that if you look committed and confident your audience comes with you. So well done to you all – including the accomplished orchestra that played out of sight behind the action. Wow – have a wonderful week – this one will be one to remember. Congratulations –
Posted on 03/10/2012
Posted on 01/07/2012
Garden Suburb Theatre
BDDF success - Alice wins prizes!
Jon Musker writes: "Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass was the GST's entry into this year's Barnet and District Drama Festival ('The Barnies'). This festival had eight entries this year, and gives out 11 specific awards, plus an award for all-round winner and one for all-round runner up.
At the awards ceremony last night we won the Best Theatrical Presentation award (the Hampstead and Highgate Express award) and the Adjudicator's Award (the Andrew Forney Memorial award). Danielle Stagg won the Best Young Actor/Actress award and we were awarded the Best Costume award (the Barry Serjent award).
Moreover, we were nominated for a further six awards; Adam Sutcliffe was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Danielle Stagg was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, and Tempeste Hepenstall-Brown was nominated for Best Young Actor/Actress. I was nominated for Best Director and the show was nominated for the Most Ambitious Choice of Play and also nominated for the Best Set Design and Construction. Moreover we came a (very close) third in the all-round winner award.
The awards at such festivals are slightly artificial, in that drama is not really a competitive sport. However, in this case it was clear that the adjudicator really enjoyed the show, particularly noting the ensemble nature of the piece. She described it as a "perfect piece of community theatre". I think the awards that were presented really reflect the brilliant input from all the cast, production team and staging teams, and the adjudicator indicated that by choosing to present the Adjudicator's Award on the basis of the best ensemble work.
I was immensely proud to be able to receive these awards on behalf of you, the people who made it all happen.
She particularly mentioned the excellent quality of the ensemble singing; the puppetry; the staging; the caterpillar; the costumes and makeup; the warm welcome front of house; the lighting. If you haven't already, you can (and should) read the full adjudication report online http://www.gardensuburbtheatre.org.uk/shows/2013/Alice/review-003.htm - and there are in fact five different reviews of the show online at http://www.gardensuburbtheatre.org.uk/show_archive.htm"
Newtown Amateur Dramatic Society|
Fish Out of Water by Derek Benfield
Review of Fish Out Of Water, written by David Thorp.
I went to see ‘Fish out of Water’ on Thursday 7th February, at Powys Theatre, in Newtown. A comedy, which was written by Derek Benfield, and on the night performed by Newtown Amateur Dramatic Society.
To be perfectly honest, the play started quite slowly. This was, in my opinion, due to the storyline, rather than the acting. Soon enough, though, the performance decidedly brightened up, with the actors all warming to their respective parts.
Especially Martin Jones, who played the bumbling Brigadier, I thought he was exceptionally funny, taking his role by heart and producing many laughs throughout the evening. The other comedic elements were largely provided by Sue James as the very ‘English Old Bag’, and Clive Bundy, the enigmatic Italian Hotel Manager. Both acted extremely well, capturing the sole attention of the audience at all times during their dialogue, and deserve their recognition.
However, all the rest of the hardworking cast deserve a mention too, including Kim Davies, Jenni Freeman, Gillian Thorp and David Morgan, who were all excellent and added a little uniqueness to the show.
All in all, I felt the play was a success, shown by the audience who expressed their enjoyment as the curtains fell for the last time. I thought it was an admirable effort, a lovely little play produced nicely.
The next play in the season for NADS is from the 22nd – 27th April 2013. I recommend you go and check it out as I will.
Date 23rd Feb 2013
To access archived reviews Click Here