BrumHour was invited to a full dress rehearsal
of Sweet Charity by Queensbridge Musical Theatre Society.
For Brum Radio’s Interval Theatre, BrumHour’s Dave Massey spoke to Sweet Charity’s Director (Leonie-Jai Hamilton) and award winning Musical Director (Steve Greenway) Listen below:
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Sweet Charity at The Core Theatre
Directed by Leonie-Jai Hamilton Music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields and book by Neil Simon.
Mid 1960s: After being rescued from being pushed into a pond by her supposed boyfriend, dance hall hostess, Charity Hope Valentine (Sarah Odom) finds herself being taken to a swanky New York Club by a famous actor Vittorio Vidal (Paul Stait) who then takes her back to his apartment. When Vittorio’s lady friend Ursula (Michelle Furrugia) comes to check up on him. Charity hides in his closet.
Charity recounts her adventure to fellow dance hall hostesses Helene (Emily Foreace) and Nickie (Karina Harris) and then desires to learn more about culture, when she meets Oscar (Sam Troke) who takes her to the Rhythm of Life Church, a makeshift “church” overseen by Daddy Brubeck (Cyril Ma).
By today’s standards Sweet Charity is a light character driven story told with by showtune music, and set piece dancing. featuring huge well known tracks including Hey, Big Spender, If My Friends Could See Me Now and The Rhythm Of Life. First performed in 1966 and set at that time it hints at the massive changes coming to the world in the 1960s.
It was great to be able to get the chance to see a full final dress rehearsal performance before the first night of this local production. There’s fun choreography, great music from an inhouse orchestra and some lovely vocals, special mention must go to Sarah Odom as the innocent and fairly unphased Charity.
The stripped back set is two staircases with a higher walkway to join them together and a long silver tinsel style curtain hanging down from the walkway. There are plenty of props and great lighting to give the feel of a club and the cage style broken elevator is excellent.
With a longer first half the second half almost flashes by in comparison but this warm Queensbridge Musical Theatre Society production sticks as much to the story as possible.
It’s been years since I last saw a production at The Core Theatre, in Solihull and I can’t wait to see what this passionate team does next.
Sweet Charity is at The Core Theatre Solihull until 15th June. Book tickets here: thecoretheatresolihull.co.uk/whats-on/all-shows/sweet-charity/18149
This isn’t a sponsored post.
When not writing about theatre for BrumHour, or producing Interval Theatre for Brum Radio (Tuesdays 3pm) brumradio.com/intervaltheatre,
Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and claiming to be at the gym. And tweeting about Birmingham for #BrumHour.