Quite often, one approaches a local amateur production not knowing what to expect, and possibly even fearing the worst.
On this occasion, for this reviewer, and from the outset; I have to declare an interest: Colonel Pickering was being played by work colleague and friend, young Robert Scott, and his own fair lady Rebecca Jackson was playing one of the two lead roles, Eliza Doolittle. I needn’t have worried! Robert played the part with an assuredness and maturity which belied his years, while Rebecca, throughout, shone brighter than her sparkling gold ball-gown; never once dropping out of character in her journey from flower girl to ‘lady’.
Leslie Murray, playing Henry Higgins, set out his stall as the professor of phonetics perfectly with the appropriately titled “Why Can’t the English (Learn How to Speak)”. The character of Henry Higgins needs someone with Leslie’s experience and great acting ability as the thread holding the whole show together. He is the complete outfit!
Alan Weatherstone, playing Eliza’s father Alfred P Doolittle, did MUCH to enhance his already great reputation. A great character role played with great character!
A special mention must also go to Glen Cavers who played the incorrigibly infatuated Freddy Eynsford-hill. “On the Street Where You Live” is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest songs in musical theatre history, and to do it justice takes a special kind of singer. Glen Cavers is that singer.
A wonderful supporting cast including Jackie Henderson as housekeeper Mrs Pearce; Pauline Burrows as Mrs Higgins; Nicole Weatherstone as Mrs Eynsford-hill; and the silky voiced Nicky Henderson as Jamie/Zoltan Karpathy all excelled. A great chorus, too numerous to mention here, (with some fantastic Household Harmonies) proved what can be done by a hard-working team all pulling in the same direction.
Slick scene changes; clever use of lighting; impeccable sound; and a small but perfectly formed orchestra under the expert musical direction of Anne Halliday, all added immensely to the evening’s enjoyment.
Take a bow Producer Bob McLure. A triumph.
David Finnie, Hawick