REVIEW: That's Entertainment Too, Barn Theatre, Southwick
Following the success of That's Entertainment a year ago, Southwick Opera is presenting another all-singing, all-dancing tribute to film and stage musicals in That's Entertainment Too.
The musical revue opened last night to an appreciative audience at The Barn Theatre in Southwick.
The programme was a real mixture of tunes and dance numbers, and each song was given different treatment, some with lots of props and some with none at all.
Jamie Collins provided light-hearted fill-ins as the compère, which gave the audience some background information to set the context of each song – and gave the cast of 20 much-needed time to change.
He managed to engage the rather depleted performance on opening night and made everyone feel involved thanks to his friendly approach.
Mein Herr from Cabaret has to be the most memorable number of the night, with the females in the cast in a daring dance routine, clad in corsets and suspenders and very little else.
They did a marvellous job, balancing at all angles on their individual chairs.
Jennie Du-Val gave a marvellous performance for Popular from Wicked and returned in the second half for another lovely piece, Just You Wait from My Fair Lady.
Other memorable solos included Clive Conner singing Love Changes Everything from Aspects of Love and Dave Mantle singing This is the Moment from Jekyll and Hyde.
On a lighter note, Dave also appeared in a brilliant rendition of Victoria Wood’s hilarious The Ballad of Barry and Freda, better known as Let’s Do It, with Risa Apostolides. It worked really well having them sing the separate parts of the song while sitting on a sofa.
Alison Barak took the lead in three numbers, demonstrating her range in Summertime from Porgy and Bess, Look at That Hat from The Matchgirls and 42nd Street.
For Andy Holden, there were four main numbers and appearances in others. Master of the House from Les Misérables was probably the best but unfortunately there seemed to be some sound problems at the start, so Rhythm of Life from Sweet Charity was not quite the big opening number that it should have been.
Overall, it was an entertaining evening and the tap-dancing numbers really livened things up but I found there were too many times that cast members had their backs to the audience.
That’s Entertainment Too is on until Saturday at 7.30pm daily, with a 2.30pm matinée. Tickets are £10 to £12 from www.southwickcommunitycentre.org.uk