Newbury Musical Theatre Society
The Newbury Musical Theatre Society web site is at www.newburymusicaltheatre.co.uk
Formerly Newbury Operatic Society.
Guys and Dolls, 9th to 12th April 2014
Let us take you back to the classic Broadway era with this wonderful score that includes Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat and Luck Be A Lady. It’s New York City in the 1940’s and all the hot gamblers are in town. They are depending on Nathan Detroit to set up this week’s incarnation of The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game; the only problem is he needs $1000 to get the place to hold it in. Sarah Brown, who’s short on sinners at the mission runs into Sky Masterson, who accepts Nathans $1000 bet that he can’t get Sarah to go with him to Havana. Will Sarah go with Sky? Will Nathan get his game? Will Adelaide ever get Nathan to tie the knot? Come along and find out.
Corn Exchange Box Office: 0845 5218 218.
The Corn Exchange, Newbury.
Review of Sweeney Todd
23rd to 26th October 2013.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Service with a smile
Sondheim's Sweeney Todd is no push-over but NMT pull it off in style
Newbury Musical Theatre: Sweeney Todd, at Arlington Arts, from Wednesday, October 23 to Saturday, October 26
Stephen Sondheim's dark musical, perhaps one of his most operatic, is multi-layered with themes of love, revenge, insanity, rape and not least the serial murders, all this woven into a complex score, with songs from the comic to the cruel (often simultaneously). It is hugely challenging to actors, musicians and technical team, but Newbury Musical Theatre rose to this challenge and pulled it off amazingly well, displaying the results of much rehearsal.
The opening was a little hesitant, but we were soon into the grisly goings-on and the second act particularly caught the spirit of the piece.
The two principal roles were in the oh-so-capable hands of husband and wife team Jamie and Debbi Ledwith, both turning in impressive performances. Jamie Ledwith as Sweeney Todd created a sinister character and had a splendidly brooding stage presence, flipping from a man with a legitimate grievance into a deranged psychopathic killer. With his fine voice he commanded the stage. Much of the humour was provided by Debbi Ledwith, who gave a delightful performance with a lightness of touch which made the prospect of 'people pies' seem like the only sensible and logical solution to the problem of 'leftovers'.
Anthony and Johanna are tricky roles, but Martin Rogers and Kate Izzard presented them well, the latter shining vocally. Tobias could have been written for Shaun Blake, who excelled in all aspects, and there were strong performances from Jeremy Mann (Judge Turpin), Paul Hyde (Beadle Banford), Holly Lucas (Beggar Woman) and Gordon Fry (Pirelli).
Credit must also be given to the assorted townspeople who worked very effectively in not only filling many of the smaller parts, but also acted as a 'chorus' by commenting on the action and foretelling the omens of doom.
A clever set served the action well with atmospheric lighting adding to the drama. Musical director Michael Evans had obviously worked hard on the intricacies of the score vocally, but it is clearly difficult to condense a full orchestra score to two keyboards, and I found the accompaniment underpowered and lacking at times.
However, hats off to director Tony Randall, choreographer Nikki Rogers and NMT for taking on the challenge and presenting, in all, a terrific piece of theatre.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 23rd to 26th October 2013
The Sound of Music, 9th to 13th April 2013. See the review in the archive.
The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes - The Musical, 18th to 20th October 2012.
See the review in the Archive.
Anything Goes, 11th to 14th April 2012
West End to Broadway, 27th to 29th October 2011
Beauty and the Beast, 12th to 16th April 2011. See the review in the Archive.
The Mikado, 28th to 30th October 2010. See the review in the Archive.
Fiddler on the Roof, 7th to 10th April 2010. See the review in the Archive.
Night at the Oscars, 22nd to 24th October 2009
Kiss Me, Kate, 14th to 18th April 2009. See the review in the Archive.
Jack the Ripper, 16th to 18th October 2008
The Pajama Game, 8th to 12th April 2008. See the review in the Archive.
The Pirates of Penzance, 18th to 20th October 2007. See the review in the Archive.
Thoroughly Modern Millie, 10th to 14th April 2007. See the review in the Archive.
Calamity Jane, 18th to 22nd April 2006. See the review in the Archive.
Old Tyme Music Hall, 15th to 16th September 2006
Calamity Jane, 18th to 22nd April 2006
Hello Dolly!, 29th March to 2nd April 2005. See the review in the Archive.
Into the Woods, 2nd to 3rd July 2004. See the review in the Archive.
HMS Pinafore and The Zoo, 13th to 17th April 2004. See the review in the Archive.
South Pacific, 22nd to 26th April 2003. See the review in the Archive.
Trial By Jury, 10th October 2003, at the Ramada Hotel, Elcot Park.
A Gilbert & Sullivan Evening, 24th and 25th October 2002. See the review in the Archive.
Oklahoma!, 2nd to 6th April 2002. See the review in the Archive.
My Fair Lady, 17th to 21st April 2001. See the review in the Archive.. See the review in the archive.. See the review in the archive.