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Folk and Blues
Boogie Nights
by Jon Conway
The Mitre Theatre, Croydon & Shaftesbury Theatre, Dawlish
July & August 2009
Director:  Dave Price
Choreographer: Paul Cohen
Musical Director: Keith O'Gorman

Please use THIS LINK to view the photographs
 

Four Stars for Boogie Nights.

The amount of energy required for this show set in the 70s was given in full measure by the cast - some of whom had been there at the time and many of whom had not.

 

The story is a simple one and devised mainly as a peg on which to hang memorable songs from the era, giving rise to some very energetic dance routines delivered by the agile Groovers under the choreographic skills of Paul Cohen

 

Boy with a wandering eye and desire to be a pop star meets girl at the disco. Roddy and Debs go steady but not quite steady enough as Debs falls pregnant (remember this is the 70s), is afraid to tell her mum and doesn't tell Roddy. Kevin Hayes created a Roddy who initially seemed an egotistic vacillator who would do anything to achieve his singing dream - falling out big time with his father (so well brought to life by an Ian Brown who seems to have so many strings to his acting bow), chasing after Lorraine the disco singer and agreeing to do the menial work for Lorraine's big shot boyfriend and musical entrepreneur Spencer.

 

Lorraine Price and Darren Flick epitomised these two, with Lorraine smouldering as her namesake to entice Roddy away from Debs and Darren bossy and belligerent as Spencer. Fiona Robertson's Debs had just the right mixture of gullibility and raw adoration for her Roddy, combined with a voice suited to the show's numbers, delivering Yesterday Once More with an appropriate wistfulness. Trish is her best friend with Katy Davies bringing empathy and concern to Debs' predicament as well as comedy to her 'fiddling' with boyfriend Terry, played by Dominic Binefa in good voice and with some hot dancing.

 

Spinner of the discs at the disco, Paul Bowles as Dean opened the show with smooth dancing and later aimed to win Debs' heart. Peter Bramwell was the authoritarian bouncer.

 

Anna Warnock's accurate costumes and the many wigs by Julia Gibbs and Morven Rae brought the era's sartorial lack to life. Alan Bishop co-ordinated a versatile set and the live and vital music from a talented band was directed by Keith O'Gorman.

 

Directed with flair and the nostalgia of just about remembering the 70s by Dave Price, the Mitre Players take the show to the Shaftesbury Theatre, Dawlish from August 25 - 29, so if you happen to be holidaying in the area, why not boogie on down - you'll be glad you did.

 

Theo Spring       Croydon Advertiser     5 Stars