Politics, drama, in-fighting, money troubles, audition stress. These are all part and parcel of the british amateur dramatics scene, albeit a part the audience will never get to see. How wonderful, then, to see each egregious character, “visionary director”, -trumped up local rep for the National Am-Dram Association, as well as each over-bearing, larger than life member of a local musical theatre company brought to the stage in uproariously funny, yet brutally honest fashion.
Rockhopper Productions’ new musical One Show More brings all that is good and bad about local theatre to life in a scintillating comedy which packs as many musical references into one show as physically possible.
The story follows a local company, Cresley Rye Amateur Players, and their attempts to save themselves from financial ruin following the sudden death of their chairman and the revelation that he had put all of their money into a dodgy investment.
Each with a different vision for the society, both Gerry Lafferty (John Highton) and John Barrowmore (Craig Wood) fight for the open Chairman position, a situation complicated even further by the fact that John is dating Gerry’s daughter, Cordelia (Nicola Crooks). The committee meet to discuss ideas for raising funds, including a local fete, and selling off the company’s costumes. The fete is a disaster, and after all of their efforts, they are still in the same position. Eventually John pips Gerry to the post, which causes Gerry to quit, and Cordelia to leave John. Relationships continue to deteriorate and, soon, suspicions begin to grow that someone is hiding something. The tension mounts until the audition day finally arrives, and the cast anxiously wait to hear of they have been cast or not. During the last agonising wait, the culprit behind the dodgy investment is finally revealed at a clandestine meeting, and the company can finally put on one show more.
Whereas some shows try to parody theatre, One Show More differs by not only sending up some of our stupid traditions, but also showing the impact theatre has on all of our lives. A theatre company is a living, breathing thing, and One Show More has a solemn side, when we think that societies are dying up and down the country. Credit goes to the writers for capturing this perfectly.
As an ensemble cast, there were no weaknesses. Each character was thought out and played beautifully and there were an impressive array of vocals on display. In a show packed full with musical references, some of them could have been lost, but each was played up just the right amount as to keep the comedy alive, despite a run time of over 2 hours 20 mins. A personal highlight was Send in the Gowns, sung by Sarah Mould.
Nicola Crooks also showed off some seriously big vocals as well. The send up to Wicked was also particularly funny.
This show is fantastic, whether you are a theatre type, or you just enjoy a good laugh. Grab your tickets while you can.
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