Rochdale Musical Theatre Company
Directed by Dan Killeen & Cesca Astley
Musical Director: Chris Addington
Music supplied by backing tracks.
Choreographer: Cesca Astley
To celebrate moving to their new venue, and working partnership with Matthew Moss High School, a musical extravaganza was presented by the company. The revue format of entertainment is a perfect vehicle for giving new talent valuable experience.
The performance space was in a studio theatre style, very workable and with projection facilities. The projected images dramatized the song narratives and was complemented with effective lighting. The sound enhanced the vocal delivery. The company was dressed effectively creating that feel-good factor.
The creative team, assisted by Dawn Leigh, took songs from fifteen of the best of Broadway and the West End musicals. All the staging, movement and choreography were well managed while the musical content was of a high standard, especially in the company numbers.
For any concert or revue keeping the audience informed is most important. This job was in the very capable hands of Zac McIntyre and Terry Banham. Their script was silly and entertaining but they bounced off each other like any good double act.
Opening with a huge 'Hello' from The Book of Mormon the audience soon became engaged and they were kept engrossed throughout. Of the shows selected there were many highlights, from the company’s recent successful production of Rent to the hottest ticket in town, Hamilton.
Leading the company Joanna Astley brought experience to her rendition of 'The Lady Is a Tramp'. Hannah Collins and company pulled out the soulful depths of 'Tell Me It’s Not True' from Blood Brothers, whilst Eilidh Stanfield and Charlotte Crossley were both 'Wicked'. To close the first section a medley of songs from Les Misérables proved why the show has such appeal.
The mask of the Phantom opened the second half and then Angela Mayall and Rebecca Tonge gave a gritty delivery of 'I Know Him So Well' from Chess. The girls visited Cook County women’s prison for a spicy 'Cell Block Tango' from Chicago. Making their mark, Zac McIntyre, Chris Addington, Terry Banham and Darren Johnson were the Jersey Boys.
All good things must come to an end and this evening from the barricade and beyond came to a crescendo with all that is Abba, a Mamma Mia Medley. The audience was left on a high with the company firmly establishing itself in their new home.