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Firework Night: The A to Z of Musicals

by on 5 November 2016



A to Z of Musicals


TOPS Musical Theatre Company at the Whitton Community Centre, 4th and 5th November

Review by Mary Stoakes

This  entertaining and well directed cabaret style ‘concert’ provided fireworks of a different kind for the packed audience over the weekend of 5th November in a sparkly setting in the Whitton Community Centre.  TOPS members were all given a chance to shine as the company worked its way alphabetic ally through musicals (some better known than others) to the rather problematical XYZ.

Mandy Church got the show off to a cracking start with a song from her recent Swan award performance in Anything Goes, followed by some well-choreographed chorus work in an excerpt from Beauty and the Beast, with the hugely talented Jack S. leading Sue and the ensemble.    Jack again demonstrated his versatility in the ‘George III’ song from Hamilton – a performance which made us all want to see this new show – and yet again with Jack G, Chris and Charlie in the Jersey Boys mix.

Other hits followed thick and fast – particularly the exciting Lochaim from Fiddler with a rousing men’s chorus.  With excerpts from Evita, Into the Woods and Les Miserables by Cate, Bee and Ben the atmosphere became more poignant but light relief came in the form of Tara (Disney Princess), Fiona (Adelaide from Guys and Dolls) and Ellie (Kiss Me Kate) with some excellent comedic acting and singing.

Lively work from the company and some audience participation brought Act One to a memorable close with Mamma Mia.

After the interval, the ensemble came into its own with excellent singing and movement in pieces from Nine to Five, Rent, and The Rocky Horror Show (great work from Gemma as the lead).  A more reflective mood was established by Cate and Dan in great voice in a number from Once and then old favourites such as the Sound of Music and The Producers got an airing.    We were introduced to perhaps lesser known shows such as Urinetown and Victor/Victoria (another show stopper by Bee). The letter Q presented something of a problem but this was admirably solved by Charlie and his puppet with a very well delivered number from Avenue Q.

We are the Champions – the Company (and the audience) sang lustily for the penultimate chorus. TOPS are indeed champions at putting on this type of popular fundraising event, allowing all their talented members whether principals or from the chorus to ‘have a go’ and entertain us hugely.   The singers received great support from John Davis on Keyboards and the rest of the super band.  Choreography was by Babette Langford who worked wonders in using the ensemble in a smallish space together the direction of Mandy Church and Ian Stark.  A good night out!

Mary Stoakes

November 2016

From → Musicals, Reviews

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