Reviews

Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs

This year, there is talent in Highcliffe! The Highcliffe Charity Players have returned with a crowd favourite – their biannual revue, full of song and dance, alongside comic sketches and stand-up that, at times, is just a little raunchy! Having never attended before, I did not know what to expect, but I’m pleased to say I had a ‘wonderful time’ – just as the programme promises. The show opened with ‘We’re Going to put on a Show’ from Disney’s live tour of Phineas and Ferb; not the most well-known song but suitably cheesy with top-hats, waistcoats and sequins galore. Amongst
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City of Dreams

City of Dreams

When reviewing amateur productions in Swanage, I have often marvelled at the standard achieved by quite a small talent pool, not easily augmented from outside because of the town’s comparative remoteness. One of the reasons why the standard is so high can be summed up in two words: June Ranger. For over fifty years her School of Dance has been giving the town’s youngsters – and not-so-youngsters – the chance to develop their skills and to enjoy the freedom of expression that comes from moving to music. Many of her students leave the town, of course, some to follow careers
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It’s a Real Diamond

It’s a Real Diamond

Ringwood Musical & Dramatic Society has established a tradition of performing a trio of succinct shows for their summer production, each individual and stand-alone but with a common theme running throughout, the respective directors given free rein on the kind of show that they present. This summer, RMDS has chosen diamonds as their theme in order to help celebrate Greyfriars’ 60th anniversary year (Greyfriars Community Centre being the venue for their productions). I have been to progressive suppers where each course is in a different location; I have attended promenade shows where the audience follows the actors around a site
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Remembered

Remembered

There can be few people still alive who remember World War 1 but very few who have no knowledge of the horrors it inflicted on so many. As director Wendy Mason said in her programme notes, “…it would be impossible to do justice in any medium to honour the men and women who lived and died in this period”. Wendy’s idea was to present vignettes of life both at home and in battle to give us, the audience, an idea of just how things would have been during that 1914-18 period, and it worked superbly on every level in an
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My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady

Eliza Doolittle is a young flower seller with an unmistakable Cockney accent which keeps her in the lower rungs of Edwardian society. When Professor Henry Higgins tries to teach her how to speak like a proper lady, an unlikely friendship begins to flourish. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, My Fair Lady is that rare musical by which all others are measured. The tale of a cockney flower girl transformed into an elegant lady features one of musical theatre’s greatest scores by Lerner and Loewe. It is a popular staple of theatre, not just maintaining but gaining new audiences throughout the
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Present Laughter

Present Laughter

At the centre of his own universe sits matinee idol Garry Essendine: suave, hedonistic and too old, say both his estranged wife and long-suffering secretary, to be having numerous affairs. His line in harmless, infatuated debutantes is largely tolerated, but playing closer to home is not; just before he escapes on tour to Africa the full extent of his misdemeanours is discovered – and all hell breaks loose. On a hot and sultry summer evening in the intimate and compact venue of Vernon Theatre, there is much to enjoy in this production of Noël Coward’s light-hearted and witty comedy. Director
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