On the Twentieth Century – Platform Players, The Headgate Theatre. 26/11/16
I had not heard of this musical, although I knew some of the work of Comden & Green, so I was intrigued to see what it was all about.
This musical is a little comic gem and Platform Players truly brought it to life. The Headgate Theatre offers so many possibilities for productions and this was no exception with cast members using the auditorium stairs and the feeling of being inside the story – something which is often lost in larger theatres.
Platform Players were fortunate to be blessed with an outstanding Lily Garland in Jayne Sheeran with her comic timing, superb acting and an amazing voice, though a little raspy in places which made me think she was possibly suffering vocally, but you would never have known from her performance because she delivered on all levels.
Playing opposite her was John Davies as Oscar Jaffee, John has excellent stage presence and a singing voice that melts chocolate although, he did struggle a few times remembering his lines, but it didn’t affect the overall performance.
For me the highlight of the show was the perfect pairing of Ben Adams and Will Mugford as Oliver Webb and Owen O’Malley. They lit up the stage every time they appeared and brought tears to my eyes – tears of laughter that is. I particularly liked the number ‘Five Zeros’
Sara Green as Letitia Primrose was another strong performance and her number ‘Repent’ was hugely enjoyable. There were so many laughs in this show and great moments delivered by so many cast members – the company number ‘She’s a Nut’ was superb. In addition, I was particularly impressed with the speed of some of the costume changes which many of the company undertook. Wow!
It was great to see Phil Toms waving the baton again (although not physically) a superb Musical Director who brought the cast and musicians together seamlessly. Andrew Hodgson delivered some lovely visual production moments and gave a show in which the audience left grinning from ear to ear.