A thigh-slappin’ tootin’-hootin treat – Northumberland Gazette – March 2009.
This year’s production started on a rather sad note.
In the programme notes, chairman Melanie Grey paid tribute to Prella Bell who died in May last year.
Described by Melanie as “irreplaceable,” Prella was a supporter of the society and spent her time both on stage and backstage. She was also second to none when it came to props. There is a spring variety show at the Playhouse on April 25 to celebrate her life. But boy, didn’t the society do her proud on the opening night of its latest show – Wild Wild Women.
This light-hearted look at the traditional western was a thigh-slappin’ tootin’-hootin treat. In her programme notes, director Penny Brown said that this little well-known show deserves to be produced more often. I couldn’t agree more.
This tuneful and funny musical romp was a delight to watch. Set in Aggroville – where two feuding families are constantly killing each other – the women go on a love strike to bring peace to the town and the men to their senses. But while the folks of Aggroville were frigid with their loving, they were certainly liberal with their comedy and entertainment.
The show was packed with jokes, from double entendres to witty one-liners while the music was both varied and catchy. But it was the talented society which brought the show to life. In fact, it was a reminder of just how good amateur dramatics can be. Every member of the cast was great.
Admittedly, it does seem unfair to pick out individuals for praise, but Arlene Cadman was fantastically funny as Sister Priscilla while the camaraderie between Norman Luke (Judge West), and the three Earps – Dave Penny, Steven Inglis and Alex Wright – raised a smile on numerous occasions. Vocally the cast were spot on too. In particular Lynne Lambert (Alice Tibbs), Anthony Stoker (Bill Tibbs), Adam Pendrich (Robert McLaird) and Clare Logan (Jane Clanton).
Both Lambert and Stoker, the show’s main characters, delivered strong performances throughout. The set-pieces were a highlight, especially the routines in songs Dancing Backwards and Ballad of Romeo and Juliet. Meanwhile the stage scenery was really impressive while Peter Brown, along with his saloon band, delivered musically.
The society is performing Wild Wild Women at the Playhouse until Saturday and I would recommend you see it.
Director: Penny Brown.
Cast: Lynne Lambert, Arlene Cadman, Christine Trotter, Clare Logan, Ali Wrangham, Zoe Mowatt, Crissy Stoker, Sally Black, Vickie Smith, Hannah Love, Anthony Stoker, Alex Swailes, Adam Pendrich, Jamie Hulbert, Phil Gregory, Norman Luke, Dave Penny, Steven Inglis, Alex Wright, Melanie Grey, Teresa McQuillen, Anne Burn, Margaret Reece, Lesley May Brown, Andrew Smail.
Conductor/musical director: Peter Brown.
Saloon band: Peter Brown (piano), Kirsteen Gray (double bass), Mark Gray (percussion), Gavin Johnson (clarinet/Alto saxophone), George Dodds (tenor saxophone), Glen Hogg (trumpet).
Northumberland Gazette 12th March 2009
By James Willoughby