Moving back to Wales has meant many a wonderful trip down memory lane, and an invitation to the Everyman Festival‘s production of ‘Sweet Charity’ struck twice for me.
With fond memories of visiting Dyffryn Gardens alongside a sixth form production there was a little ray of happiness about being able to relive this. As mentioned recently, with another move on the cards, the recent ‘tidying’ of memory boxes had even unearthed some original programmes. And so
almost twenty years on I made my way to Sophia Gardens to see how much memory would hold true.
The biggest surprise, albeit I was made aware of this one by the fairy godmother 24 hours earlier, was that it would be greater than my memory alone, because it would be the same director as *that* college production. I half wondered how different it would be, how much could a vision of a production change?
Admittedly I was surprised, it became clear how much creating a production with 16-18 year olds in a catholic college would *potentially* need careful interpretation levied in, and I did enjoy this time round the incorporation of the subtleties of the dance hall hostesses and all their lives encompassed.
I was surprised how much my memories held true, and more so as the entire script came flooding back, I nervously sat through the interval thinking “cue not queue” or vice versa…
Whilst my memories held true, this production created its own path, I loved Helena-May Harrison as Charity, the Americanisms and wide-eyed innocence allowed the story to take hold, casting Matt Preece as Vittorio Vidal all became clear in ‘Too Many Tomorrows’- just ‘Wow’!- and the comic timing of Tim Reynolds as Oscar Lindquist instantly endeared him.
Every song came flooding back, and whilst some didn’t seem as clean in execution (the memory is a wonderful thing), the passion of the voice embraced you. I may have spent an afternoon at work
attempting singing ‘Baby Dream Your Dream’ as we congratulated one of the team being promoted, seeing it on stage, with the energy of Giaccolina Crothers (Nicky) and Mel Holdsworth (Helene) was soooo much better.
The audience response as always was a touch of confusion, absolute belief, absolute empathy, but man o’ man, why did it end like that?!
If you’re going to the Everyman Festival this year, Sweet Charity is absolutely the perfect production, the perfectly balanced musical theatre.
It of course has ‘Hey Big Spender’ and ‘The Rhythm of Life’ which will find your ease, with humour and romance. And then more, unexpected twists and humour filled turns.
After making my way across London to get home, unappreciating of the impact of underground and train strikes, I was not alone in appreciating the added humour of interpretation:
The Everyman Festival 2015 is at Sophia Gardens to 1st August 2015, with Sweet Charity featuring until 18th July. Tickets for Sweet Charity are available at £14.00 for adults (£12 for. U18’s). Tickets for the Festival performances can be purchased on the website or on 0333 666 3366.
Disclosure: I was invited to the production for the purposes of this review. All opinions and views contained are my own.