Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – Louth Playgoers Summer Workshop – 3rd-5th August 2017

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Having seen and reviewed the CAODS production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels back in November 2016, in fact it was my very first show review on this blog, I couldn’t wait to see what Louth Playgoers Youth Theatre would do with the production, especially since it was the outcome of the Youth Theatre and a very limited rehearsal time of a couple of weeks in the school holidays.

Louth Playgoers Says about the show:

“Directed by John Hewer and Musically Directed by Chris Peters once more our talented young people take to the stage for their annual summer workshop production.
This year they have chosen Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – the Musical as their challenge for 2017. Almost two weeks of hard work culminates in three impressive performances of this popular musical.
Synopsis: Two con men, a beautiful woman and the elite of the French Riviera collide in this sexy and irreverent farce.
Based on the popular 1988 MGM film, this hysterical comedy features a delightfully jazzy score by David Yazbek (The Full Monty) and was nominated for a staggering 11 Tony Awards”

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The young people did brilliantly well and I was not disappointed for one moment.  The main roles of Lawrence Jameson and Freddy Benson were played by Ed Mapletoft and Jack Lovett; the way they both played their opposite characters worked really well together.  Ed brought the classy, suave sophistication with what looked like with incredible ease whilst Jack produced some hysterically brash, loud and overstated comedy.  A brilliant portrayal by both, especially as Lawrence was trying to teach Freddy how to win women, having his work cut out as Freddy was usually only in it to make a quick few bucks.  Jack as Freddy and especially Ruprect was the highlight of my evening; having seen the previous CAODS production, to be honest I wasn’t sure how he was going to match up, but he absolutely did; every element of Jacks performance was outstanding.

I also wanted to mention Beth Adams who played Murial Eubanks, and Matthew Claypole who played Andre (with a brilliant French accent!).  They both played great parts, and the little cameo by Joel Coward (who also played the Hotel Manager and the Policeman) was pure genius – never before have I experienced such a random way of keeping the audience amused during scene changes!

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Well done to the whole ensemble and the other cast members, you all did brilliantly, remembering all the words, dance moves and keeping the audience very well entertained.  I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of you in future LPG productions!

It was great to see and hear a live band which were a lovely addition to the show; Musical Director and Keys 1 – Christopher Peters, Key 2 and Violin – Amy Baker, Reeds – Mike Wood, Trumpet – Andrew Taylor, Trombone – Mark Tong, Bass Guitar – Chris Smith, Percussion and Drums – Stuart Spendlow.

The Director was John Hewer and Choreographer was Rebecca Miles.  Sound Design – Christopher Peters, Lighting Design and Operator – Jamie Harris, Sound Operator – John Hewer and Chloe Jackson, Follow-Spot Operators – Robbie and Holly Mapletoft, Set Design – Jean Bradshaw and Malvina Willis, Costumes – Fern Garland, Christine Cliffe and Barbara Vickers.

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Cast (in alphabetical order)

Beth Adams – Muriel Eubanks

George Adams – Bellboy, Sailor & Ensemble

Emilia Berriman – Woman (solo) & Ensemble

Charlotte Bushell – Jolene Oakes

Matthew Claypole – Andre

Jade Fraser – Maid & Ensemble

Joel Howard – Hotel Manager, Policeman & Ensemble

Jemima Jefferies – Woman (solo), Violinist & Ensemble

Carrie-Ann Leahy – Conductor, Nun & Ensemble

Saskia Lewis – Desk Clerk, Dancer & Ensemble

Jack Lovett – Freddy Benson

George Maher – Porter, Sailor & Ensemble

Ed Mapletoft – Lawrence Jameson

William Mapletoft – Bellboy, Sailor & Ensemble

Beth Raithby – Renee & Ensemble

Erin Ramsay – Sophia, Nun & Ensemble

Lydia Reeves – Lenore, Nun & Ensemble

Erica Slonskyj – Christine Colgate

Jade Smith – Usherette & Ensemble

Mollie Tunnicliffe – Waitress, Croupier & Ensemble

 

Well done to everyone – congratulations!

Rehearsal Photographs courtesy of Andy Evans (and Facebook!)

 

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‘Out of the Hat’ – CAODS Lincolnshire Tour

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For the first time, CAODS – The County Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society of Lincolnshire took the decision to put this variety show together and take it on tour at several venues throughout Lincolnshire over the next few months.  I have seen 2 CAODS shows in the past, the NODA Best Musical Award ‘Sister Act’ in 2015, and the critically acclaimed ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ in 2016.  Both were brilliant shows and so I was really looking forward to what they would bring to a much smaller production in a variety format.

The opening night of the tour was in the Neverland Theatre, Skegness; an intimate, 100 seat theatre in the heart of the town.

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CAODS said about the show:

Join CAODS during their 2017 tour of Lincolnshire. This award-winning company are ready to entice you with a magical evening of song, dance and laughter. A variety show like no other with a magical twist supplied by the talents of the amazing Brian Hellyer.

The show features music from some of the most popular musicals (both modern and traditional) ever staged, together with mesmerising dance routines and comedy sketches, all ages are sure to find ‘Out of the Hat’ delightfully entertaining. With a wave of a magic wand, we will bring the world of musical theatre to life before your very eyes; you just won’t believe what we can pull out of the hat!

Unfortunately, Act One got off to a poor start when a number of unforeseen technical issues detracted from some of the opening acts.  Happily, once those issues were overcome, and the cast settled down into their performances I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

I know a lot of the cast from working with them in previous productions, and for some, this was their very first time performing solo, either singing or taking part in a comedy sketch.  I was delighted to see them out of their comfort zone and the audience applause for the songs and sketches showed how well they’d done!  Congratulations!

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Serena Coney

The 2 Highlights for me both included the fabulous Dawn Wilson (Guest reviewer on this blog for the recent Made in Dagenham);  having never seen her in full solo character mode previously, her comedy timing was absolutely perfect and had the audience in raptures, the first sketch was split into a couple of sections, and we couldn’t wait to see what would happen next, performing with Emma Bowler and Pete Hawbrook; it was brilliant!  She was then joined by CAODS Chairman Andrew Wydrzynski for a fabulous comic duet from ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ I was blown away by the chemistry and fun they seemed to be having on stage, which carried across into other ensemble performances throughout the evening!

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Dawn Wilson
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Andrew Wydrzynski

There were also some great solos and duets, my favourites were performed by Heather Wydrzynska, Rachel Pick, Kellie Loughlin and Vicky Turzanski.

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Rachel Pick

Very well done to all the cast and crew for a great evening of comedy and entertainment, and well done to Director Heather Wydrzynska, Co-Director and Choreographer Rachel Pick, Rehearsal Repetiteur Jonathan Jarvis and Magician Brian Hellyer.  I liked the ‘hat theme’ which ran throughout the show, it linked the magic sections very well.  It was a shame about the technical issues and as with all variety shows, I enjoyed some acts more than others but I wish you every success for the rest of your Lincolnshire tour.  I look forward to coming again when you perform at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln in October.

The show can be seen at the following venues:

The Lion Theatre, Horncastle – Saturday 22nd July, 7.30pm
1 Bull Ring, Horncastle. LN9 5HT
The Corn Exchange, Bourne – Saturday 30th September, 7:30pm
3 Abbey Road, Bourne. PE10 9EF
New Theatre Royal, Lincoln – Thursday 19th and Friday 20th October, 7:30pm
Clasketgate, Lincoln. LN2 1JJ

You can buy your tickets using the following information:

THE LION THEATRE, HORNCASTLE – 22nd JULY 7:30pm

Tickets: £8.00 regular / £7.00 concession

Available: –

  • on the door
  • through the Box Office (Horncastle Music Shop) 01507 526 566

(No online booking facility available at this venue).


THE CORN EXCHANGE, BOURNE – 30th SEPT 7:30pm

Tickets: £11.50 regular / £10.00 concession

Available: –

  • on the door
  • Bourne Library (during opening hours)
  • through the Box Office (Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham) 01476 406 158
  • online at www.guildhallartscentre.com

NEW THEATRE ROYAL, LINCOLN – 19th & 20th OCT 7:30pm

Tickets: £12.50 regular / £10.50 concession / £40.00 family ticket

Available: –

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Some of the team preparing back stage
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Emma Bowler and Geoff Middleton

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Thanks to Lester McCone and Dawn Wilson for photographs

Review – ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ CAODS

 

From 26th October to 5th November 2016, Lincolnshire’s County Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (CAODS) presented the fabulous ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ in the New Theatre Royal Lincoln.

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Having seen and been thoroughly impressed with last years award winning production of ‘Sister Act’, I was really looking forward to CAODS being back at the New Theatre Royal Lincoln with their production of ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’.  The stage musical was made popular by the 1988 MGM film starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine, and although I remembered the story up to a point (it’s been years since I’ve watched the film), the musical version takes us on a delightful journey through some great twists and turns, learning about the brilliant characters and their ever-changing personalities.

The costumes, make up and props were very authentic and with it being staged in the beautiful French Riviera, there was scope for luxury and affluence which were both found in abundance.  Neil Martin, Company Manager,  (The Complete Design Company) created a fabulously designed set, with beautifully moving scenery and set pieces taking us from the hotel lobby, terrace, balcony, villa lounge and bedroom, station and airport.  The lighting really brought the stage to life; the sunshine and beauty of the daylight, and then the moon casting it’s glorious romantic light on the evening scenes.

Musical Director, David Williams, played keyboards and led the full orchestra in the pit and he also worked with the cast to produce an overall glorious sound combining both the harmonies and solo voices beautifully.

It was fabulous to see some of Adam Korwin-Slepowronski’s signature dance moves from ‘Classes with Adam‘;  and my favourite moment, although there were many, was the ‘crutches’ scene at the end of ‘love is my legs’,  The whole audience erupted with laughter.

It was obvious that Director Janie Smith had worked with the cast to bring an authentic French vibe to the whole performance.  The audience were made to feel they were in the French Riviera and were immersed in every scene… the comic timing, the romantic looks and the fabulous twist at the end all combined to make a gripping and thoroughly enjoyable performance.

My stand out moment in the whole show, was my buddy Dawn Wilson, playing Hotel Receptionist, Mathilde…  her comic timing was impeccable with ‘that lift’, and I loved her cameo as a nun!

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Apart from one or 2 sound glitches and having to work on a very small stage, the whole show was superb, and worthy of any national theatre.  The lead roles were played exceptionally well by Ian George Norton, Christian Thomas Norton, Imogen Phillis, Andrew Wydrzynski , Helen Elizabeth Rae and Emily Mason-Hill.

The musical features a delightfully jazzy score by David Yazbek (The Full Monty), the Broadway production was nominated for a staggering 11 Tony Awards

Some comments made by my friends about the production:

 

“This show needs to tour on the west end with this cast”

“Fantastic show. Well done cast thank you for giving us all a wonderful experience. Thanks that is to everyone involved in the production. x”

“Brilliantly funny show “

“Great laugh and a well polished show “

“Went along last night, you were all Fab!”

“Well done scoundrels an amazing show !! Again ❤”

“Just been to see dirty rotten scoundrels. What a show! Laughed ’til I cried. Well done Dawn Wilson, Imogen Phillis, Alex Gillard, Emma Kirkup, Adam Matthew Korwin-Slepowronski, Helen Elizabeth Rae and everyone else involved. Brilliant!”

“Well done CAODS friends on a top performance last night of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Lincoln Theatre Royal. I hope you have a wonderful last day today and all those bugs do one so that you can all enjoy it! X
If you’re at a loss for something to do this afternoon, get down to the theatre to see it. You’ll love the show and the newly spruced up theatre.”

“Well done last night CAODS and break a leg for your final two shows today xx

Lovely to see you all Dawn Wilson, Emma Bowler, Ian George Norton, Christian Thomas Norton,  Ben Atkinson”

“‘Twas the dirtiest, rottenest, Scoundrelist ?? Show EVER ! ~ snooze ya’ lose …if ya’ haven’t been to see it … GO TODAY! ~ best wishes from me on your last leg! ~ ‘break one’ for all of us that have ❤loved ❤this hilarious show ! ~ xx”

“Have a fabulous last show day. Loved it just as much last night as I did last week. Both my girls really enjoyed it too 😘”

It was really outstanding, well done to you all.

“Great job last night. Well done CAODS. A really entertaining show; I have not laughed so much in ages!”

“Hey you Scoundrels! Thanks for a fantastic show, especially loved the Ruprect and Oklahoma numbers. Well done CAODS.”

“It was excellent, very well done, well performed, I particularly liked the Oklahoma number, and thought the best scene in the whole thing was Andrew’s balcony scene!! Please pass on my congratulations to everyone x”

“Oh my goodness ….. home after watching Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for the second time!! 💕💕💕💕Love this so very much …. laughed out loud (ooops VERY loud) …. whooped … clapped … and thoroughly enjoyed this amazingly hysterically funny show … if I could find the time I would be back tomorrow 💕💕💕💕 ….. thank you so much to all my CAODS family, production team, orchestra … you are all fantastic 😘😘😘 …… Dave Taylor … saw you having a cheeky cough but well done for carrying on !! 💕💕💕

Knowing most of you lovely people have ‘the bug’ also knowing how tired you are all getting … cast,crew,production team and orchestra… I take my hat off to each and every one of you … The show is just so slick, polished, the props are gorgeous, the scenery and costumes are breathtaking 💕💕💕 loved loved loved it 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕”

“Fantastic evening watching CAODS Dirty Rotten Scoundrels! It was so good & so funny! Definitely recommend it. Big well done to Helen Elizabeth Rae, Imogen Phillis, Emma Kirkup, Dawn Wilson and anyone else I’ve missed off!”

“What a fabulous show CAODS! Brilliant … Loved it! Get tickets….must see it!! Fabulous performances and stunning singing!”

 

(Thank you to Lester McKone, Steve Nash and Niel Martin for use of their photographs)