Monday 23 March 2020
Review: Anything Goes
Cathy Clark from Photogroupie reviews our recent production of Anthing Goes at Hertford Theatre.
Nearly a century after Anything Goes premiered, it's still a show that endures. Some of the jokes and references may not have transferred to a modern audience, but the feel-good factor of a Cole Porter musical transcends time.
The big-scale Hollywood style show is something Ware Operatic have not really ventured into before, but with the passion director and choreographer Angie Frost has for the show, the company was in safe hands.
The tale of Billy Crocker who stows aboard a cruise ship to try and win the heart of debutante Hope Harcourt is perhaps a classic theatrical trope of boy meets girl. But put into the mix a couple of fugitive gangsters and a racy nightclub singer and the entire S.S American becomes a romp of mistaken identity and subterfuge, where anything goes in the attempt to secure true love.
The ensemble cast has been stripped back compared to what it usually is, but then there is not a huge amount of choral work in the score. Having fewer people on stage gives more space for several of the show's big dance numbers, which are expertly choreographed. It's a pity that better use wasn't made of the top deck rostra for the dance sequences. I can only imagine that this was down to blocking and logistical reasons, but even so, it would have given some of the numbers a different dynamic.
Although we don't really get the mighty sound from the chorus on this show, there were some stellar performances from the principals. James Reynolds gives an understated performance as Billy, but when up against some larger than life female leads, this is a wise directorial move. Andrew Frost as bungling gangster Moonface Martin, demonstrates terrific comedic timing. Mick Wilson is a stalwart of Ware Operatic and is once again on form as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.
Although the entire cast gave typically solid performances, there's no doubt that the girls stole the show. Emma Cash as Hope has elegance and poise during her scenes with Billy. Sadie Cole as Erma is superb in every way, adding the right amount of sass and sparkle. She only gets one number but, Buddie Beware is one of the show's highlights. The brassy role of Reno is the cornerstone of the show and is expertly played by Abigail Lowman. Abigail handles the show's big numbers Blow, Gabriel, Blow and Anything Goes, with ease and is a joy to watch perform.
Ware Operatic may have taken the plunge and put on a musical outside their comfort zone, but Anything Goes, once again proves their high standards and versatility as a company.
Tuesday 12 March 2019
My Fair Lady was Truly Loverly
We have had a fantastic week performing My Fair Lady at Hertford Theatre as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations. With a strong cast and crew and excellent audience members, it was truly a show to remember.
Extracts of the reviews can be read below, and follow the links to read in full.
National Operatic & Dramatic Association Show Report
My Fair Lady was the perfect choice for Ware Operatic’s 50th Anniversary show ... This was a quality performance, thoroughly appreciated by the audience, given by a hard-working company under a dedicated production team. Read more
Ware Operatic are known for their consistently high-quality productions and their 50th-anniversary production of My Fair Lady is no exception ... Jilly Mabbitt plays the converted the role of Eliza. It's her first major role – but you'd never tell. Her performance captures the essence of Eliza perfectly ... Once again the strong ensemble is the backbone of the Ware's productions. They always produce a tremendous full sound in the crowd scenes that helps to keep the quality of Ware's productions exceptionally high.
My Fair Lady is another worthy addition to Ware Operatic's repertoire, especially as it marks their golden anniversary. With such a competent creative team and some very talented performers they should have no worries about making it through the next fifty – now wouldn't that be loverly.
Thank you to everyone who supported, either by taking part, watching the show, or working hard behind the scenes.
Saturday 3 November 2018
My Fair Lady 2019 Cast Announcement
After a fantastic set of auditions, and a very difficult decision for our panel, we are delighted to announce the cast for My Fair Lady in our 50th Anniversary year:
HIGGINS Mick Wilson
PICKERING David Ronco
DOOLITTLE. Paul St.James
FREDDY. Matt Lampitt
HARRY. Thomas Wornham
Tenor Servant. Steve Cooper
Bass Servant. Maurice Newman
Wouldn’t it be lovely quartet cockneys
Maurice Newman, Roger Green, John Allison and Stephen Cooper
ELIZA. Jilly Mabbitt
MRS HIGGINS. Mary Pick
MRS PEARCE. Jenny Reynolds
Soprano Servant Rebecca Lee
Soprano Servant Beverley Howard
Alto Servant Andrea Graves
MRS EYNSFORD HILL. Sue Mulligan
LADY BOXINGTON Liane Burnett
MRS HOPKINS. Deborah Rudgley
John Allison, Stephen Cooper, Brian Watson, Steve Wicks, Brian Worthington
John Christopher Bain, Martyn Broyd, Roger Green, Maurice Newman, Tom Wornham
Linda Budd, Emma Cash, Bev Howard, Rebecca Lee, Zoe Reader, Anne Marie Rizzi, Shirley Richardson, Deborah Ryan
Zoe Briggs, Liane Burnett, Sadie Cole, Andrea Graves, Claire Liu Yin, Abi Lowman, Sue Mulligan, Sandra Rowley, Deborah Rudgley, Eleanor Seager, Dorren Spielman, Amanda Walden
Tuesday 15 May 2018
An Evening with Legends Audition Results
We are delighted to announce the results of auditions for our Summer Concert 2018: An Evening With Legends:
Steven Cooper: Nights in White Satin
Matt Lampitt: You Took Advantage of Me
Eleanor Gage: O Mio Babbino Caro
Debbie Ryan, Linda Budd, Jenny Reynolds: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Sophie Clark, Rebecca Murphy: Happy Days are Here Again
Rebecca Murphy: Don’t Rain on My Parade
Hannah Juggins: Man, I Feel Like a Woman
Hannah Juggins, Tom Pigden: Phantom of the Opera
Sunday 2 March 2014
The Witches Of Eastwick
25th February to 1st March
"Three Beautiful Women and one lucky devil!"
The Witches of Eastwick have now flown off from Hertford back to Rhode Island. We had a great run and this link will take you to what the NODA representative had to say about our production.
Wednesday 13 March 2013
Titanic has won 2 NODA awards!
Ware Operatic have collected NODA’s Best Musical and Best Production in District awards for our 2012 production of Titanic the Musical!
Congratulations to everyone concerned with the production, particularly John, Chris, Adam and all the cast.