Ah the memories came flooding back as I took my seat in the Carver Theatre. When I was but a lass I was in two shows there, a summer show where I took the challenging role of the butcher’s wife in the Golden Goose, and the Marple Scouts and Guides Gang Show ‘Three Cheers’, where amongst other things I dressed as a penguin and sang “it’s a jolly ‘oliday with Mary, Mary makes yer ‘heart so light”. Somewhere there is photographic evidence of this triumph but sadly I have none!
Anyway, the Carver has established itself over the years as a great community theatre, with a varied programme of plays, and a fabulous and very traditional panto that I can thoroughly recommend. It’s even got a revolve now, oh what fun could we have had with that in my old Gang Show days!
I was there to see a production of Putting It Together, the Stephen Sondheim revue, where songs from many of his shows are worked together around a new storyline. It was being staged by ‘Moments’ (Marple’s Own Musical Entertainments) who aim to produce small scale but quality productions to raise money for chosen charities.
This turned out to be an extremely enjoyable night out. They had put together eight fine singers and performers, and a fabulous little band, to deliver a fun and great quality production.
Martyn Preston as ‘the director’ opened the show and set the tone well throughout with some lovely comic touches, as did the excellent William Pretzel, especially in ‘Everybody Ought to Have a Maid’. Alison Foy-Thackwell has an amazingly powerful voice and fabulous stage presence, and more than did justice to one of my favourite numbers ‘Not Getting Married Today’, which is delivered at such a pace it can’t be an easy one to tackle. Sarah Thewlis delivered an extremely humorous ‘Lovely’ that had the audience in stitches, and Helen Rodgers had a lovely voice and gave a great dance performance too in ‘Bang’. When the ladies all came together in ‘Ladies who Lunch’, it was a spirited and acerbic performance.
The whole cast worked well together, and it didn’t really feel like an ‘amateur’ production at all, just a fun night out packed with excellent tunes and great performances.