Billed as the ‘Most Frightful Musical since Sweeney Todd’, this production certainly did what it said on the tin, featuring impressively-staged stabbings, slashed jugulars and gunshots.
RL Stevenson’s classic Victorian novel, rewritten for the stage by Leslie Bricusse, tells the tale of what we now call a ‘mad scientist’ whose experiments create a malevolent alter-ego.
This Company is blessed with three exceptionally gifted performers who carried the show magnificently; Paul Marsh was superb in the title roles, Carol Robinson displayed real emotion as tart-with-a-heart Lucy and Becky Ranger (sic - Rungen) was positively luminous as Emma. Both girls sang beautifully and their duet was the highlight of the show. The set was well constructed, props were skilfully manoeuvred, costumes, lighting and sound were excellent and Neil Streeter’s musicians provided fine accompaniment, although the keyboards were often too loud.
Director Claire Nias also assembled a chorus to die for – and many of them did!
Here is the review from the Southern Daily Echo...
"WHEN you come out of a Lloyd Webber-Rice musical, singing Have Another Cup of Tea then you can perhaps understand why their first collaboration has rarely been performed.
Carol Robinson deserves praise for choosing this show to mark her directorial debut – and making a success of it.
The story (short at a little over ninety minutes) of how Dr Barnardo set up his first refuge for London’s homeless children has few strong songs, although the cast performed admirably throughout.
Paul Marsh, excellent as Barnardo, was perfectly complemented by Ann Sinclair as Syrie.
Narrator John Parker linked the scenes with style and there were notable performances by a feisty Linda Bagnall (Rose) and Heidi Hodgkinson, a jewel in the cast as Jenny, but the children nearly stole the show.
With a flexible set and great costumes, music from Neil Streeter and his trio, the show looked and sounded good throughout."