SOUTHAMPTON Musical Society is only a mere 12 years from celebrating its 100 year anniversary, which by anyone’s standards is an incredible achievement. As a company, they have stood the test of time and year in and year out, they have provided shows of a very high calibre; this show is, once again, a triumph.
From the opening curtain to the closing curtain the audience is treated to what I can only describe as a whirlwind of emotions, fast-paced dances and great characterisations.
[The songs by Madness] fit excellently into the story ... And even if you’re not a Madness fan, the songs do not seem out of place. The 7-piece band under the musical direction of Will Pickering was excellent and they recreated the Madness sound brilliantly.
It’s not easy to choreograph 30 cast members around a stage, but the two choreographers Sarah Turner and Stefanie Radley manage to pull it off superbly. The dance routines were dynamic and fast and the routines reflected the dances of the Madness era, including the highly energetic ‘Our House’, ‘Wings of a Dove’, and the moving ‘NW5’.
Meryl Collins, Stu Collins and Anna Lorimer did a wonderful job [in their costumes] and each cast member looked ‘right’ for their respective part.
Direction from Dawn Broomfield was excellent. Each and every cast member deserves credit for contributing to a fine show, [it] was clearly because they had literally given everything they had. The cast managed to flip between the two story lines and apply their characterisations to the story that they are in at the time.
Sam Hussey gave a great performance as Joe and goodness only knows how he managed so many quick costumes changes as he dipped from one life into another; Aimee Wright was a very believable Sarah with a wonderful voice, and stood out acting wise. The Dad, Mark Barton-Leigh, held the show together very well with his narration and AnnMarie Parsons was perfect as Kath.
Every musical has a comedy element and this show doesn’t fall short at all. Emma Harris as Bille Morton and Amy Leonard as Angie Morton provide the humour and were a breath of fresh air in each of their scenes. Equally, Dave Smith as Lewis and Stu Collins as Emmo were perfectly cast and provided great performances. Other super performances came from Adrian Jones as Mr Pressman, Paul Rogers as Reecey, Dave Brown as Callum and Danielle Rousell as Julie. The 18-strong chorus were also a credit to the company. I would recommend this show to everyone.
1 April 2015, Scene One
Southampton Musical Society Registered Charity No 299426