North West Essex Drama Guild

Holiday Rock July 19th 2007

 

Front on House - Despite the torrential rain we’ve suffered this month, I shall remember this evening as the way a summer evening should be. I arrived on a warm sunny evening to be shown to my seat in a hall decorated very much in a holiday mood. Being seated near the front was a bonus as I didn’t miss a moment of this splendid show. Jacky made me welcome and offered refreshment in the interval.

Set - Very amusing posters around the hall a la Donald McGill postcards, making jokes about fat ladies on the beach and busty, long legged lovelies. Splendidly painted – I think by co-writer Wendy. (?)

Before the curtains opened, we could see the Penny Arcade and Sheila’s Eel stall. Complete with all the goodies required for the beach, buckets and spades, shady hats, beach toys and drinks. Then we saw a stage set with a beach hut and a good backcloth of sand and sea.

Stage Management - The show started on time and moved swiftly and seamlessly along with good ‘invisible’ work changing the beach hut into Punch and Judy. Very well done.

Lighting/Sound - Very good throughout, with sunny effects and thunder and lightening when required. Plenty of seagull squawks! Good transformation in Act II to palm trees and a holiday camp. I was amused to see the S.M. carefully picking up seagull feathers in the interval. Waste not, want not!

Costumes - All very good, very seasidey, even to the British style of a knotted hanky! The Act II costumes were very stylish.

M.D. and Orchestra - A very young M.D. and very talented, playing more than one instrument. Also members playing two guitars, piano and drums. All extremely well played. Excellent singing and diction from all the cast, all the time. Well done!

Direction - The show apparently written and directed by Jacky Pitwood and Wendy Shearman. What can I say? A brilliant idea brought to brilliant fruition. Don’t rest on your laurels, ladies, we shall all be clamouring for more entertainment like this.

Choreography - Very good. Not easy to dance in beach shoes or sandals. Very little room on

stage but with simplistic routines and an enthusiastic cast it was very successful.

 

Act I

Lazy, Hazy days of Summer – A good beat number, well put over.

On the Beach – A good beat number well put over.

Summer Loving - Nice duet from Jackie and Mike.

Slicing Sand – Mike again, with more than a hint of Elvis!

Seagull Poop – This turned out to be ongoing throughout the show but with seagull squawks it was very funny. Well done, Glyn.

Here Comes the Sun – Very good solo from Ben with his guitar.

Itsy, Bitsy Bikini – Good surprise number with the girls in old-fashioned swimwear.

Margate – Very good work from dancers.

Penny Arcade – A very lively number.

Kevin & Vicky – Very amusing and good costumes.

Punch & Judy – The beach hut now transformed into a Punch & Judy stall. This little sketch was very funny with Julie and Brian dressed as the fighting twosome complete with baby. Brilliant script.

Love letters in the Sand – Very nicely presented.

The Tide is High – The ladies having a teasing time with James as the Lifeguard victim trying to retain his modesty. Very funny.

Sea of Heartbreak – Very nicely sung.

Mr Bean – More seagull fun.

Sunny Afternoon – Bill and Andy reading the Financial Times with appropriate lyrics. Very good.

Girl from Impanena – Lisa (very pretty) with good solo from Bill and with a good tag line.

Keith and Candice-Marie – Good costumes for this sketch. Well put over, with James as ice-cream seller.

More Seagull Poop – Still funny!

In Summer – James has a very nice young voice. Well done.

Sunshine, Lollypops – A cute song well put over.

Mr Bean and the Blind Man – Hilarious mime with Ken Little trying to keep his modesty while trying to change into his swim suit. Excellent!

Waiting on a Summer Day – A good solo and ensemble work.

I Can See Clearly Now – Ben and the Chorus. I could almost feel the sunshine.

Seagull Poop – Even funnier. Glyn in combat gear finally getting the better of that bird! Gun and feathers!

Sunshine on my Shoulders – Another nice solo from Ben.

Under the Boardwalk – Well sung by Sue Joyce.

Golden Dawn – Nice solo, change of lighting to night effect.

Blue Moon – Strong voice from Val. Both these songs charmingly put over by older members. Well done.

Do You Wanna Dance – Great toe-tapping number and fun. Amazing that the small stage doesn’t look overcrowded.

Summer Nights – Loads of exuberance and excellent harmony.

 

A very successful First Half left us wanting more.

 

In the interval I discovered the seaside theme continued outside at the back of the hall, with refreshments under blow-up palm trees and ‘put your face in the hole’ photo possibilities. Well done! Out at the front of the hall, the evening sun was setting and swallows or swifts were wheeling around overhead. A really delightful scene from nature to be remembered.

 

Act II

Now we are in the Waltham Sands Holiday Camp, complete with Hi-de-Hi and a ‘Welsh’ Gloria and her tiny xylophone. Very good lines.

Bring me Sunshine – Splendid ensemble work, yellow T-shirts and an ever-hopeful Polly.

Hooray, it’s a Hol-holiday – There just had to be a Camp song! Very good fun.

Uptown Girl – Very amusing – the boys having fun in raincoats tied with string!

Little Stick of Blackpool Rock – Very good dancing. Well done.

Everybody Needs Somebody – (Blues Brothers.) Really well done – excellent!

Oh Boy – A great toe-tapper.

Rock and Roll Music – Another success.

The Blues/Call Off The Search – Two more great numbers.

Don’t Stop Me Now – Splendid number from the ladies.

I will Always Love You – Thank you, Bill, a good way to get a super write-up from you Adjudicator – sing this song right to her!!!!

Love Is All Around Us – Sue and Bill in a fine duet.

Mr Blue Sky – Brilliant tap dance.

Camp Song – Thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. Polly at last gains her yellow T-shirt!

Wannabe – Good send-up of the Spice Girls.

This Ole House – A great beat to this number. Mike Lee has a knock-out voice. Wonderful.

Amerillo/Our Last Song Together – Excellent finale numbers.

 

To Conclude – There were three microphones at the front of the stage. I really don’t think anyone needed even one. Superb voices overall. If you are all from Little Waltham, what a musical village it must be! What a joy to see smiling faces from everyone – All the time!

As before, your programmes are so interesting and unusual, so informative and attractive.

Thank you for a fabulous evening’s entertainment. My congratulations to everyone concerned with this show.

Janet M Cass