Show-stopping performances kept audience warm on a chilly evening
REVIEW: Me and My Girl at Kilworth House Theatre, June 12
KILWORTH House Theatre is a superb open-air venue - the perfect setting for an entertaining show enjoyed in the warmth of a summer evening.
Unfortunately British summers, as we know, do not always play ball.
And so, a blanket covering our legs, my wife and I huddled together against the chilly evening air.
Fortunately the excellent entertainment on offer from Me and My Girl generated more than enough heat for the packed auditorium.
Neil Ditt plays likeable Cockney barrowboy Bill Snibson and is undoubtably the star of the show.
This musical follows his rag-to-riches tale as he discovers he is heir to a fortune as the long-lost Earl of Hareford, and the attempts by his new-found aunt - the Duchess of Dene (Beverley Klein) to turn him into a gentleman.
The scene in which the cheeky Lambeth lad is introduced to the aristocratic family crackles with music hall comedy and there is more fun to be had as, spotting an opportunity to get her hands on his new-found wealth, the man-eating Lady Jaqueline Carstone (Kirby Hughes) makes a rather unsubtle attempt to seduce him.
But if the superb Ditt is the show’s funny-bone, Gemma Sutton as Snibson’s salt-of the-earth girlfriend Sally Smith is its heart and soul.
The couple’s duets and Sally’s solo performances - Take It On the Chin and Once You Lose Your Heart - as she realises she must give up her love so he can gain his inheritance, provide the evening’s most touching moments.
This is a musical featuring some very catchy tunes - none more so than the show-stopping Lambeth Walk, expertly choreographed and complete with dancing Pearly Kings and Queens.
There was a certain irony to The Sun Has Got His Hat On, given the conditions, but it was delivered with gusto and Peter Caulfield, as The Hon Gerald Bolingbroke, raised laughs with an energetic performance in a one-piece bathing suit.
John Griffiths, playing Sir John Tremayne, is a convincing drunk in a funny scene in which we meet Bill’s ancestors, while Geoffrey Abbott, as Herbert Parchester, has great fun with his performance of The Family Solicitor.
As the curtain fell the show rightly received enthusiastic applause from an appreciative audience.
But perhaps an even greater tribute was the sound, as we made our way to the car park, of 500 fulfilled theatre-goers humming The Lambeth Walk under their breath.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Harborough
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North west