Sunday, 6 November 2016

The Witches of Eastwick | Trinity Musical Theatre Company | Dormston Mill Theatre

As their debut production as Trinity Musical Theatre Company comes to a close, it's fair to say that they have firmly put themselves on the amateur dramatics map. After seeing the show in rehearsals (I featured the company in a Spotlight on Am Dram post where you can find out about the build-up to the show) I was excited to see how the show had developed and honestly, I was blown away.

It's not a huge cast but there was a great balance of male and female chorus as well as a small number of dancers who worked well alongside the very strong principles. The three witches, played by Beth Berwick-Lowe, Phaedra Brickwood and Maggie Page, all held their own vocally (even when 'flying' above the stage in the act one finale!) and the chemistry between the three characters seemed incredibly genuine. Mitch Bastable embodied the role of the cheeky, quick-witted devil, aka Darryl Van Horne, from his first entrance and had the audience in stitches throughout. I also loved Patrick Lewis and Tina Stephenson as Clyde and Felicia Gabriel as they added a dramatic twist to act two of the show. There was quite a large principle cast, considering the size of the company as a whole, so I won't list everyone by name but I don't think there was a single weak link at all.

I couldn't write about this show without raving about the music. The songs are incredibly catchy and I woke up this morning still humming 'Dance With the Devil', a particularly raunchy but comical chorus number. All the chorus numbers in fact were fantastic, but my personal favourite has to be 'Dirty Laundry', led by Liz Bolas, Sarah Booth and Sarah Hodgkins as the town gossips, which featured really fun choreography with tea towels of all things. A mention also has to go to the band led by musical director Karl Babarczi. The balance between band and vocals is what sometimes lets amateur productions down but it was spot on in this show and you could hear every lyric as well as the lively orchestrations.

The production was full of wonderful special effects and slight-of-hand tricks as well as stunning lighting, particularly in the finale. It was a bright and lively show that I adored and as I chatted to other audience members afterwards, I heard only good reviews. Going from a very tame Gilbert and Sullivan operetta in 2015 to such a raunchy and out-there show this year was a big risk for Trinity but it seems to have paid off and I cannot wait to see what Trinity pull out of the bag next- whatever it is, I know it will be fabulous.

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