Demo

SWEET CHARITY

AUGUST 2015

Curve, Leicester

Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Book by Neil Simon
Based on an original screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tulio Pinelli and Ennio Plaiano

CAST

(in order of appearance)

CHARITY HOPE VALENTINE - Jade Johnson
CHARLIE - Cristian Zaccarini
ICE CREAM MAN - Khalid Daley
SPANISH YOUNG MAN - Joseph Harris
POLICEMAN - Adam Johnson
POLICEMAN - Jonathan Hermosa-Lopez
HERMAN - Stuart Thompson
NICKIE - Ruby Ablett
HELENE - Claire O’Leary
CARMEN - Emily Lyons
ALICE - Amber Walton
SUZANNE - Anuli Changa
FRENCHY - Florence Russell
BETSY - Rhiannon Bailey
ELAINE - Lauren Ellington
DOORMAN - Joe Rooney
URSULA/ROSIE - Jessamie Waldon-Day
VITTORIO - Tom Robinson
MANFRED - Michael McGeough
RECEPTIONIST - Georgina Onuorah
MAN IN LIFT - Jake Hankey
OSCAR - Robin Franklin
DADDY BRUBECK - Sario Watanabe-Solomon
BARNEY THE WAITER - Henry Roadnight

MUSICIANS

Claire Shaw - Reed I: Piccolo, Flute, Alto Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax
Ellie Davis - Reed II: Piccolo, Flute, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax
Christopher  Underhill - Reed III: Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Tenor Sax
Shona Maule - Reed IV: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Sax
Michael Grant - Reed V: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Baritone Sax
Zak Eastop - Trumpet I, Flugelhorn
Matt Ward - Trumpet II, Flugelhorn
Matt Payne - Trumpet III
Chris Goodchild - Trumpet IV
James Bluff - Trombone  I 
Owain Davies-McCrorie - Trombone  II 
Simon Chorley - Trombone  III
Megan Landeg - Percussion
Tristan Butler - Drum Kit, Percussion
Louis Malhame - Accordion
Curtis Volp - Guitar
Andrew Richards - Double Bass
Katy Richardson / Alex Aitken - Keyboard

PRODUCTION TEAM

Director - Lotte Wakeham
Musical Director - Tom Deering
Choreographer - Lucie Pankhurst
Designer - David Woodhead
Lighting Designer - Howard Hudson
Sound Designer - Tom Marshall
Assistant Directors - Jordan Murphy, Grace Taylor 
Assistant Musical Director & Chorus Master - Alex Aitken 
Assistant Choreographer - Kathleen Nance
Production Electrician - Adam Mottley
Production Sound Engineer - James Drew
Sound Operator - Dan Evans
Sound #2 - Charlie Simpson
Lighting Operator - Dylan Custance
Follow Spot Operators - Jess Stoddard, Ella Wheway
Costume Supervisor - Jessica Houghton
Wardrobe Supervisor - Fiona Lockton
Production Manager - James Henshaw
Stage Manager - Anna Sheard
Deputy Stage Manager - Tamsin Youngson
Assistant Stage Managers - Gabriel Humphries, Alix Nicholson, Harry Pattinson
Graphic Designer - Richard Blackburn
Photographer - Matt Hargraves
Licensing Co-ordinator - Simon Woolley
Pastoral Team - David Grant, Brian Murray, Kathleen Nance, Rebecca Ridout

NYMT Administrator - Cicero Magalhães
Production Manager - James Henshaw
Producer - Jeremy Walker for NYMT

This production was supported by
WHITE LIGHT LTD 
STAGE SOUND SERVICES.

 

Reviews

 

Musical Theatre Review
Reviewer: Pat Ashworth
Rating: 

In a month other than August, this outstanding production by the National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT) could have graced the main stage at Curve, where it wouldn’t have been out of place against any of the high-profile musicals for which the theatre is famous. A huge release of youthful energy and talent, it did stormingly well in the studio. I have no idea where they managed to put the 18-strong orchestra, members of which ranged in age from 13 to 22, but the sound was electric.

Hailing from all over the country, many of the cast of 24 have started professional training already or are currently auditioning for drama schools. What a part this was for 18-year old Jade Johnson as Charity Hope Valentine, the ‘Girl Who Wanted To Be Loved’ and who remains undefeated even when she doesn’t get the happy ending.

So easy and natural on the stage, she played Charity with an artlessness that endeared from her first appearance (a defiant flash of scarlet and yellow among the grey raincoats of New York) and handled solo numbers like ‘Big Spender’ and ‘If My Friends Could See Me Now’ with absolute assurance.

This was the first time NYMT have put on the musical, directed by Lotte Wakeham and choreographed by Lucie Pankhurst. The production beautifully evoked America in the 1960s, not least in the droll and witty use of placards defending civil and women’s rights. Two steely gantries dominated the stage. There were straps hanging on the streetcars and candyfloss at Coney Island, but it was the clever choreography that gave the most insight. Wry, arch and fluently executed throughout, the movement was a running social commentary in itself. Umbrellas were the only prop, creating everything from lakes to wall-mounted telephones.

Plenty of rising stars here, especially among those playing Charity’s fellow dance hostesses at the Flamingo Ballroom. And so many highlights, from a rocking, pulsating ‘Rhythm of Life’ full cast number to a very, very funny ‘I Love to Cry At Weddings’. Altogether exhilarating and it got the rapturous response it deserved.

Western Park Gazette
Reviewer: Sally Ajack

Sweet Charity is one of musical theatre’s classics: winner of multiple Tony awards at its Broadway opening in 1966 and much-loved, 1969 Oscar-nominated film starring Shirley MacLaine. How can anyone ignore a humdinger of a song like ‘Big Spender’?

The National Youth Music Theatre are popping their corks at Curve this week with their production; quite a difficult musical to tackle with its quirkiness, adult themes and a challenging score.

However, Andrew Lloyd Webber states this is ‘the best youth music theatre in the world’ and who am I to disagree? A scan through the programme reveals a frighteningly young cast (most are mid to late teens) yet their maturity as performers is impressive.

Charity Hope Valentine (Jade Johnson) is a dancer-for-hire at the New York Fandango ballroom, a girl who just wants to be loved but with a knack for falling for the wrong guy. She finally meets the man she wants to marry but even though Charity is ‘nuts for a happy ending’, we all know love doesn’t work like that.

Johnson is likeable and strong as Charity, more playing up the laughs than pulling at your heart. Tom Robinson cuts a fine dash as Vittorio the movie star and Stuart Thompson is nicely sleazy as Fandango’s owner, Herman.

Demonstrating great comic timing, an almost flawless New Yoik accent and a powerful voice, Ruby Ablett shines as Nickie. Also worth a mention is Florence Russell as Frenchy, very nearly owning the stage with sharp, slick dancing.

The showstoppers are enjoyable: ‘Big Spender’, ‘The Rhythm of Life’ and ‘Rich Man’s Frug’ and Musical Director Tom Deering and his team of musicians are spot on. Lucie Pankhurst’s choreography has a good flavour of Fosse’s distinctive style although it looked a little cramped on the Studio stage for the dancers to really let rip.

This is an impressive production of an infrequently performed musical, and dare I say it, a show of distinction.

 


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