NODA Review – Godspell 2016

BRAINTREE MUSICAL SOCIETY

GODSPELL

Directed by Debbie Marks

Musical Director Sue Edwards

Performed at The College in Braintree               25th June 2016

“Godspell” is a show which gives the entire cast the opportunity to be free spirits in their many varied characters and I felt this was achieved in this super production.

A cast of around 16 people gelled so well, and yet had space to interpret this very moving production with some great up beat music to the more heart rending moving slow ballads..

Tom Pleasant as Jesus gave a superb account of this most important centre in the production.The diction and feeling in his performance was excellent and very real.

The company’s “Tower of Babble” opening the show kept this demanding number tight and then into “Prepare Ye”onwards it was all very well balanced in harmonies, and a really fast “All for the Best” with clever choreography leading into “All Good Gifts” with Lamar from Scott Olley and company.

Debbie had some really innovative idea’s here and there throughout the production bringing it so up to date, which added another aspect of interest for the audience to enjoy.

In Act Two the powerful “Alas for You” from Jesus was a terrific powerful number, as was the moving “By my Side” with Emma Loring playing Peggy and Anita Hall playing Gilmer.lovely blending of voices here.

“Turn back O Man” with the feisty Helen Hooper playing Sonia gave a really good number, and as with all the cast the costumes were well matched to each character.

Phil Thompson as a rather fun Jeffrey gave “We Beseech Thee”a lively number again well supported by the cast.

The show just kept giving and the poignant “On the Willows” which is a band orchestral number and added to by Rob Jones the keyboard player’s voice, another bonus to the show.

The finale was very sensitively played with the climax and crucifixion of Jesus which was very moving, and all on stage were totally immersed in this scene as were the audience. The set although very modern, served well for the show and was well suited to Debbie’s direction.

A lot of thought and work had gone into this excellent production and the whole team should be very proud of the results.

I thought it a lovely idea to include a page in the programme in tribute to four people who had sadly passed away in the past year, and we share with them in remembering all the commitment these people had given to the society.

Congratulations to Debbie for her work and imagination as Director, and Sue as Musical Director who set the tempo’s with the band and company just right with a well balanced sound all round.

It was good to meet up with members, some who have been with the group for many years and some newer members too.

I congratulate you most sincerely on a very enjoyable production.

 

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