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The Clockmaker's Daughter
by Michael Webborn and Daniel Finn
 
The Croydon Courtyard Theatre, Croydon - July 2016
The Minack Theatre, Cornwall - August 2016
 
Director: Julia Ascott
Musical Director: Andy Rapps
Choreographer: Helen Harman

 

Please CLICK HERE to download a .pdf copy of the programme.

Minack review and show photos to follow shortly.

Please CLICK HERE to view Charles Marriott's Croydon photos

Please CLICK HERE to see the Minack's photos and the Minack review

 
 

UNPUBLISHED REVIEW FOR THE CROYDON ADVERTISER 

 

The Mitre Players had the time of their lives with this joyous show. Visually, vocally and chorally excellent, it will certainly strike a memorable note as they take the skills of Croydon’s amateur theatre to audiences at The Minack’s open air theatre in Porthcurno this summer.

 

Presenting the show in Croydon High School’s charming outdoor venue on an amazingly dry and warm evening, the large cast made much of this original musical faerytale written by Michael Webborn and Daniel Finn. The demanding harmonies in the musical numbers were achieved with resonance and clarity and the solo numbers clearly delivered so every word and sentiment could be heard.

 

Abraham Reed, the clockmaker in the town of Spindlewood, has lost his dear wife and with care and craft, he creates a clockwork ‘person’ to help relieve his loneliness. She is young, lifelike and, as they both soon find, developes human feelings.

 

Colin Warnock turns Abraham from astounded at his creative success to fear of losing her to the outside world whilst we watch his creation, Constance, become more and more lifelike. Megan Brown, in great voice, turns Constance from her clockwork origins to a girl in love and wanting her freedom. Both know, however, that without her being wound up, regularly, by Abraham’s large key, her life would come to a standstill.

Amelia and Henry plan to marry. When her wedding dress is accidently ruined, it is Constance who anonymously makes Amelia the dress of her dreams. Laura Brand and Peter Calver make the perfect happy couple, with both their characters befriending Constance once the truth is revealed.

 

Helen Harries-Rees is Ma Riley, the harridan of a dressmaker whose nose is thus vastly put out of joint. Requiring an OTT character, she delivers this in spades. Her team of seamstresses do much to enhance the whole production as they appear in various other guises, peopling the town and certainly adding to the musicality of the show.

 

It is Will, Ma Riley’s son, who falls in love with Constance, with Calum Roy delivering an ebullient character whose voice blends so well with Constance’s during their duets.

 

We meet the Mayor of Spindlewood, a delightfully dithery David Morgan and Mab his cake-loving secretary played comically by Jane Maisey.

 

The men of Spindlewood, with various trades, help greatly with the aforementioned harmonies and there are additional residents, playing ensemble,  who help create the town’s atmosphere and add to a very large cast.

The colourful and period-perfect costumes are forever changing and the work of Wardrobe Mistress Di Jones with a team of helpers. Choreography is by Helen Harman who moves large numbers of people on stage with elegance. Musical Director Andy Rapps and his small orchestra aide and abet the vocalists and Andy Thomspon is responsible for the life-like statue of Constance that modern-day Spindlewood has in its square.

Masterminding this whole enormous production, with all its ‘on tour’ complications, is Director Julia Ascott who has created a hugely successful theatrical experience which, it must be hoped, enjoys equally enthusiastic audiences in Cornwall as it did in the Courtyard Theatre. As ambassadors for Croydon, we wish Mitre both luck and, of course, fair weather.

 

Theo Spring - Croydon Advertiser (Unpublished) July 2016