The first show I ever went to see at Louth Riverhead Theatre was ‘Musical Memories’ as I’d just started to get to know some of the performers from the Lincoln Cathedral Production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 2015. I was so overwhelmed with the talent in that particular show that when I saw that there was going to be ‘Once Upon a Time’ featuring songs from our favourite family films I couldn’t resist.
Once upon a Time was Directed by Jamie Harris who has directed several of the shows I’ve enjoyed at the same theatre, and the Musical Director Keith Weston who I also have enjoyed work from. Frances Brindle and Derek Smith were the Producers and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the production.
Derek Smith was a complete natural as our host for the evening and kept the audience interest as he relayed details about Disney and the other films, and I particularly enjoyed his first number with the children, ‘Heigh-Ho’; what a delight to see Derek getting right in with the kids performing the 1937 Disney Classic from Snow White. It was wonderful to see the small children enjoying participating around the stage and the theatre.
A few highlights for me include another Derek Smith number, this time performed with his son Toby, where they had great fun with the favourite from the 1967 Disney film, Jungle Book, The Bare Necessities. Kerry Ward did a great job as Mary Poppins, with her rendition of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious performed with Ruairidh Greig, a perfect crowd pleaser, followed by A Spoonful Of Sugar from Janine Walker, another really lovely performance.
Laura Harris delighted us with Colours Of The Wind from Pocahontas followed immediately by Jamie Harris who sang Alan Menken’s Out There from Hunchback of Notre Dame – he brought an absolutely beautiful song to another level!
A favourite film from my sons childhood was Space Jam in 1996, and Joel Browne, with the cast, uplifted the whole audience in Act 2 with I Believe I Can Fly. Although I enjoyed the whole production, Love Is An Open Door performed by Charlotte Bushell and Jack Lovett was another highlight. Taken from Disney’s Frozen, 2013 its become a worldwide favourite and both Jack and Charlotte brought a whole lot of fun, comedy and romance to the performance, great characterisation and wonderful musicality.
Finishing the show with a Despicable Me 2 favourite, Happy, Sunny Williamson, Molly Carter & the cast brought the song to life on the stage with the audience really wanting to sing along, with the final performance from the whole cast of When You Wish Upon a Star ending the show with a rapturous applause from the whole audience.
There were quite a few young children in the audience which all seemed to be delighted with the great variety of films and musicals the songs represented, keeping the adults entertained with some of the older favourites. A couple of older teens sitting near me delighted in singing along to just about every performance which although nice to see, got a little frustrating when they were nearly singing as loud as those on stage!
Details of the show:
‘Be Our Guest’ (Neil Warne, Vanessa Allison & cast)
‘I’ve Got No Strings’ (Madeleine Barnes-Browne, Theresa Appleton, Beth Raithby, Poppy Barnes-Browne)
‘Cruella De Vil’ (Ed Mapletoft)
‘The Bare Necessities’ (Derek Smith and Toby Smith)
‘Supercali’ (Kerry Ward, Ruairidh Greig & cast)
‘Spoonful Of Sugar’ (Janine Walker)
‘Feed The Birds’ (Janet West & cast)
‘Somewhere Out There’ (Melissa Jenney, Ian Cahill & cast)
‘Part Of Your World’ (Katie Graham)
‘Beauty And The Beast’ (Helen Riley)
‘Friend Like Me’ (Neil le Sueur & tappers)
‘Love Survives’ (Natasha Connor)
‘I Stand Alone’ (James Burgess)
‘They Live In You’ (Helen Riley, dancers & cast)
‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ (Charlotte Bushell & Ben Browne)
‘Circle Of Life’ (Chris Driffield & cast)
‘Mine, Mine, Mine’ (Derek Smith, James Burgess & cast)
‘Colours Of The Wind’ (Laura Harris)
‘Out There’ (Jamie Harris)
‘I Believe I Can Fly’ (Joel Browne & cast)
‘Rumour In St Petersburg’ (cast)
‘When You Believe’ (Katie Graham & Evangeline Dodds)
‘I’m A Believer’ (Michelle Scott & cast)
‘What If?’ (Erin Ramsay)
‘Holding Out For A Hero’ (Sarah Hagerup & cast)
‘Happy Little Working Song’ (Natasha Connor)
‘Mother Knows Best’ (Kim Burchall)
‘In Summer’ (James Burgess)
‘Love Is An Open Door’ (Charlotte Bushell & Jack Lovett)
‘Let It Go’ (Evangeline Dodds)
‘Happy’ (Sunny Williamson, Molly Carter & cast)
‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ (cast)
Director – Jamie Harris
Producers – Frances Brindle & Derek Smith
Stage Manager – Bob Booth
Sound Design – Brooke Vickers
Sound Operator – Ash Hagyard
Musical Director – Keith Weston
Choreography – Frances Brindle & Jamie Harris
Lighting Design – Jamie Harris
Lighting Operator – Peter Hall
Follow Spot Operators – Martyn Underdown & McKenna Smith