BMOS Musical Theatre Company take to The Alexandra’s stage this week with their latest production, Half A Sixpence. Following a successful run in the West End in 2016, receiving critical acclaim, numerous awards and nominations, this production has done the rounds on the community theatre circuit ever since. Based on the novel ‘Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul’ by H G Wells, this rag to riches story follows Arthur Kipps who inherits a fortune, but soon realises that money can’t buy love or happiness.
It is a fantastic vehicle for a leading man, especially as the musical was originally written for Tommy Steele who featured in 12 of the 15 numbers. In this new version (by Warner Brown), Kipps appears in an impressive 18 out of 24 numbers, quite the feat for Daniel Parker, who takes on the role with great aplomb. A typical cheeky chappie, his enduring performance and great voice held the show together excellently.
There was an abundance of supporting talent from this incredibly large ensemble cast, who filled the vast Alexandra stage. The sextet of shop boys and girls (Neil Ward, Alex Nicholls, Andrew Treacy, Morgan Bebbington, Rosie Harvey and Charlotte Boyer) showcased impressive harmonies throughout, particularly highlighted in the Economy (Reprise)near the close of the show. Plus, there were some notable performances from Carys Wilson(Helen), Jo Smith(Mrs Walsingham) and Lee Navin(Walsingham).
However, two further standout performances of the night came from Annabel Pilcher as Ann and Jake Genders as Chitterlow. Pilcher’s stunning voice filled the auditorium and her gritty performance of I Know What I Am was a real show-stealer. Meanwhile, Genders flamboyancy was an utter joy, encompassing the role of Chitterlow hilariously.
Most importantly, it must be remembered that this was very much an ensemble show, which was perfectly illustrated in Flash, Bang, Wallop– dealing with such an iconic number, the cast nailed it, in slick, drilled fashion, under the choreographic direction of Suzi Budd.
Directed by Stephen Duckhamand musically directed byDavid Easto, the cast and creative team of BMOS have brought to life this 1960s musical with great sophistication. It has, what you might call…finesse.
Half A Sixpence plays at The Alexandra until Saturday.
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