Author: Katharine Carradus
This musical is a very challenging piece of theatre, the music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and lyrics by Jim Steinman, are very complex and some numbers are awesome.
The story centres around three children in Louisiana who have recently lost their mother, their father Boon is struggling to bring them up, the children Swallow, Brat and Poor Baby and their meeting in a barn with a man they believe is Jesus. Little do they realise he is a fugitive, hiding in their midst and they vow to protect him from everyone, their innocence and vulnerability shines through.
Boone played by Graham Hawley was well cast as the widower doing his best to keep his family together. I thought he sang well and gave a heartfelt performance. Amos and his girlfriend Candy were extremely well portrayed by Kimberley Fisher and Peter McGuckin they both complemented each other with good acting and stage presence. Their rock number ‘Tyre Tracks and Broken Hearts’ was quite outstanding. Swallow gave a lovely and sensitive performance, she sang all the taxing musical numbers with assurance and skill, very well done Jennifer Hawley.
Tony McGee as ‘The Man’ was fantastic, this is a difficult part to play, but his huge talent was there for all to see, he had a range of emotions from fury and anger to a tenderness not often seen, and his singing was quite splendid. In fact all the cast and chorus deserve praise as they all played an important part in the success of the show. I very much enjoyed Amelia and Jack as Brat and Poor Baby and team New Orleans, I heard just how good Sophie and Andrew were and team Baton Rouge. All the children were young characters and I thought that the nativity scene was well executed. The set was good, costumes were all of the right period, there was good lighting and sound and as always a super orchestra.
This was an excellent production, thank you Workington for an evening of theatrical enjoyment.