Newbury Musical Theatre Society
The Newbury Musical Theatre Society web site is at www.newburymusicaltheatre.co.uk
Formerly Newbury Operatic Society.
Oliver!, 7th to 11th April, 19:30 and 14:30 on Saturday
Never before has a boy wanted more! Pick-a-Pocket or Two with Fagin and his gang in Lionel Bart’s glorious musical version of Dickens’ classic tale.
Corn Exchange Box Office: 0845 5218 218.
The Corn Exchange, Newbury.
Reviews of Pirates of Penzance
30th October to 1st November 2014
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Rollicking band of bikers
Newbury Music Theatre Society update G&S comic opera
Newbury Music Theatre Society: The Pirates of Penzance, at Trinity School, Newbury from Thursday, October 30 to Saturday, November 1
Although pretty-well steeped in traditional G&S, I have no problem with societies updating - as long as the new version is as good as the original. Did Newbury Musical Theatre's production of The Pirates of Penzance, directed by Debbi Ledwith, with Neil Streeter in charge of music, work?
Here, The Pirates were a biker gang, a fine rumbustious band. Singing or acting, you couldn't have a better Pirate King than Martin Rogers, and Shaun Blake threw himself exuberantly into the role of Samuel. The jolly roar of the group's singing was accompanied by slick, accurate moves - well done lads.
Young Frederic (Sam Prentice) started off hesitantly, but soon got into his stride, revealing that he has a good, strong voice and a promising acting ability which will improve as he gains experience.
Kate Izzard's powerful voice successfully achieved the musical acrobatics required of Mabel in Poor Wandering One, but I particularly enjoyed her wistful Stay Frederic Stay duet with Sam Prentice.
Another delight were the girls playing Major Stanley's daughters. Hollie Coghlan, Lucie Dale, Eloise Trumper, Anna Neary, Sarah Preston and Lucy Fitt were superb, not only with their cohesive actions and singing, but also in the development of their individual characters. Stars all round, girls.
Add the mellifluous voice of Paul Hyde (Major General Stanley), Jez Mann, an American cop-like Sergeant, and Chrissy Quirke as Ruth (unfortunately beset by early miking difficulties) and there was much that was good.
However, Pirates is a show that demands young people, so invariably older members are cast as governesses. But it is not enough to bring on these experienced actors, loaded with too much impedimenta and stand them in a row at the back. More imaginative production was needed here. In the second half, the governesses became policemen, but sadly the comedy, after the first visual impact, was not slick enough to be successful.
Access to the Trinity hall is tortuous and has particular problems for those with mobility difficulties. Rather than small notices, it would have been friendlier to position more people along the way from the car park to welcome the audience, as well as being on hand to help overcome specific problems.
I am always pleased when a society chooses G&S and to see it performed with good young actor/singers obviously enjoying themselves is satisfying. Overall, however, NMTS can do better and I look forward to their next production.
Pirates of Penzance, 30th October to 1st November 2014
A Musical Showcase, 16th August 2014 at Stockcross Village Hall
Guys and Dolls, 9th to 12th April 2014. See the review in the archive.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 23rd to 26th October 2013. See the review in the archive.
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.