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Trilby Productions

 

Coloured Lights

 

1

 

Jermyn Street Theatre

6th – 23rd August 2008

 

 

 

1ary Couzens

A review by Aisha Walters for EXTRA! EXTRA!

 

As a cabaret virgin and with a little knowledge of the music of Kander and Ebb, Coloured Lights was a new experience for me. The night started well with the full cast singing ‘Morphine Tango.’ However it wasn’t until five songs in when the full Company sang ‘Dear One’ that the power of Kander and Ebb’s skill became apparent, as they really did know how to construct an excellent love song.

The Company then pulled out some Fosse-esque moves with boas, hats and canes to really make ‘Showstopper’ a stand out performance. Due to Sarah Redmond being ill, the cast had to alter their performance for three which seemed no problem for them. Tim McArthur took on Sarah’s role in ‘The Grass is Always Greener’ with successful results. He fully embodied the celebrity character he was trying to portray and in the reprise, his depiction of a rowdy pet pooch created a thoroughly enjoyable comedic moment.

Act One continued with subdued performances with spotlights for McArthur’s ‘A Quiet Thing’, and sincere performances directly sung to the audience like Marc Joseph’s ‘Marry Me’.  Laura Armstrong also deserves a special mention for her excellent performance of ‘Everybody’s Girl’, where her innocent acting turned a song that could have been one dimensional into a tune about a sweet girl who is nifty with a hula hoop and wants to share that and her other talents with as many men as possible. The first half finale was a song most would know, ‘Money Money’ from Cabaret. The cast’s performance was more energetic than in previous numbers, the piano player (Stephen Hose) was moved into the centre of the stage and the piano was used as part of their act. McArthur’s choreography may have stolen a few moves from Fosse’s film version of Cabaret, however this did not detract from the fact that this was a fitting end to the first half with all three cast members and Stephen Hose giving their all.

By Act 2 it seemed the Company had come into their stride. The songs were not as memorable as those in the first half.  However, McArthur really shone in both solo numbers ‘Coloured Lights’ and ‘My Own Space,’ proving himself to be the standout member of the cast, with a strong and appealing voice. However Joseph equalled his success in his solo performance of ‘Ring Them Bells’, using multiple accents to give a very amusing delivery of the song. Armstrong’s ‘Only Love’ was a beautiful rendition of the number from Zorba and the two last group numbers though in a different tone from the previous tunes of Act 2 ended the show in a thoroughly fulfilling way.

Director Tim McArthur and Musical Director Stephen Hose have produced an enjoyable evening which really showcases the work of Kander and Ebb.  Simple set design by Justin Smith uses only coloured props including chairs, hats and canes and lighting to adorn the stage. Tilby Productions seems to comprehend that good cabaret is less about glitzy show stopping numbers and more about highlighting the superiority of Kander and Ebb’s music, with subtle routines that let the composers melodies do the talking.

Box Office: 020 7287 2875

www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk

Tickets: £22.00, Concessions £18.00

Jermyn Street Theatre
16b Jermyn Street
London SW1

 


 

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