site search by freefind advanced

 Connecting professional and amateur theatre in Newbury, West Berkshire and beyond

Watermill - Micky Salberg's Crystal Ballroom Dance Band

1st to 5th April 2008 and on tour.

From the Newbury Weekly News.

That's rock and roll

Micky Salberg's Crystal Ballroom Dance Band, at The Watermill, Bagnor, from Tuesday, April 1 to Saturday, April 5, then on tour to 28 venues from Sussex to Yorkshire

Ade Morris' witty and sparkling new musical comedy is a gem. It is set in the early 1950s - when rock and roll is just beginning to trickle into this country - near Ade's hometown of Leek, just north of Stoke-on-Trent. The Salberg family are living in exile, on a farm under threat of being reclaimed by the bailiffs. With little prospect of making any money from the land they decide to form a ballroom dance band.

Charismatic Paul Kissaun beautifully plays Micky Salberg, a philosophising Polish Jewish immigrant who finds solace in the bottle, to drown his problems. He longs for the good times in Krakov where he ran a big band and could buy expensive jam.

His feisty daughter, a compelling performance by Pam Jolley, agrees to play in the band if her father will give up the booze. She is an angry, rebellious and tortured woman, who has never really forgiven her father for sending her to England when she was 10 years old, as part of the Kinder-transport programme, during which time her mother died in Poland.

Enter the ever confident, guitar-wielding Tommy Bostock, strongly played by Alex Tomkins. He fervently believes that rock and roll is the way forward, but Micky is unconvinced. They manage to get a few gigs and Sam is finally persuaded to sing, on the condition that Micky will play some rock and roll, and so Micky Salberg and the Crystals are born.

All is going well until Tommy receives his call-up papers for National Service in Korea and Micky comes up with a devious plan to beat the system, much to Sam's amazement.

This multi-layered, bittersweet play is a beautiful Cinderella story that also acts as a metaphor for the treatment of immigrants in this country today.

The talented cast created moving and sensitive performances that were a sheer delight to watch.

Directed with aplomb, Guy Retallack effectively uses the actor/musician style that has become a hallmark of The Watermill's productions.

The show tours to venues throughout Berkshire.

Don't miss it.