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Watermill Theatre - The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

31st January to 15th February 2014.

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Jazzlantic crossing

Everyone joins in this musical treat at The Watermill

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, at the Watermill, Bagnor, until February 15

Forget the raging storms and horrible weather - the Watermill's vibrant production of The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea will help banish the blues.

This two-hour toe-tapping cabaret compiled by Simon Slater is a rapturous celebration of the jazz age, with some 25 classic favourites from such composers as Jerome Kern, Richard Rogers and George Gershwin.

Set in 1931, on board the SS Fortune, on a deck below the waterline, a group of disparate stowaways prepare to journey from England to seek their fortunes in America, the land of opportunity.

The highly-talented cast of five, who have all appeared in previous Watermill musicals, performed with vivacity and quickly developed an endearing rapport with the audience.

They are all actor-musicians who play multiple instruments as well as being accomplished singers.

Alana Mari, playing the Chanteuse, was a delight to watch. Her rendition of Ain't Misbehavin' was a triumph and she certainly lived the moment.

Resplendant in top hat and dinner suit, Alex Evans as The Toff had a beautiful voice. His interpretation of The Way You Look Tonight was both charming and captivating.

Also on the voyage was dance teacher Sarah Scowen, playing the trumpet superbly and giving a cracking interpretation of the song Ten Cents a Dance, among others.

Julian Littman brought a touch of humour as the Down and Out, and what better song to sing than Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out. His versatility in playing so many instruments was impressive.

As the journey continued the ship hit bad weather - cue the song Stormy Weather.

Simon Slater is a gifted musician and was simply splendid as our convivial host guiding us through this voyage of discovery, as well as being musical director and performing some humorous songs such as I'm in the Jailhouse Now.

There was ample opportunity for some enthusiastic audience participation in Inka Dinka Doo and a wonderful finale as we all joined in with Minnie The Moocher.

This was an enchanting evening's entertainment that richly-deserved the warm, wholehearted, audience applause.

An absolute treat.