Warmly welcomed by the front of house I was ushered into the bar and awaited meeting with the great and the good of The Southampton Musical Society, this being the 90th Anniversary of this great society.
The premise of this compilation of musicals was to run through the ages and to deliver a good cross section of pieces from musicals old and new that the society has been associated with over the years. It did not disappoint.
This was a good show, the pace didn’t seem to lag, which can often be the case with a mix and match affair, and the choreographed dance routines were well rehearsed and well executed. The chorus on the whole certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves - this came across to a packed house (all too rare these days) who were also enjoying themselves.
The variety of numbers chosen was good. From good old fashioned foot tapers, for example “Flash Bang Wallop" from half a sixpence to the new musicals, Hamilton, The Book of Mormon and Dear Evan Hansen. The leads were all backed up well by a soundtrack and good use of (small) props and a simple steel deck staging, where effective lighting was generally well used and well thought out.
My only criticism is that in places the sound seemed to dip, and some words were missed and just occasionally the choreography was too complicated and the vocals dropped off (Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat unfortunately stands out).
However “Shadowlands” from The Lion King was brilliant and really showed the full range of skills that SMS has. This along with “You and me (mostly me)” from The Book of Mormon and "Somebody to Love" from We Will Rock You really stand out, with brilliant performances from the principals and back up from the chorus. Equally however the sight of Adrian Jones, the SMS Chairman, in "Time Warp" from the Rocky Horror Picture Show will stay with me for a very long time!
I had a really good evening, which seemed to shoot by. Thank you SMS, here's to the next ninety years, I look forward to Sweet Charity next year.
Review by Mark Allen - NODA
Southampton Musical Society Registered Charity No 299426