'Mack' proves to be a fast mover

PUBLISHED: 22:48 30 January 2001 | UPDATED: 15:03 22 October 2010

Mack and Mabel presented by the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society @ the Theatre Royal, Norwich. Reviewer: Michael Drake.

Mack and Mabel presented by the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society @ Theatre Royal, Norwich

By Michael Drake

From the moment the orchestra swings into life, this show is vibrant with enthusiastic movement.

Under musical director Geoff Davidson's even pace and Ray Jeffery's disciplined direction, it is the musical which makes one say 'So that's where the tune came from'.

It traces silent film maker Mack Sennett's career and partnership with actress Mabel Normand.

The roles are played by Greg Fitch and Sarah Pryde, who tell the story poignantly without, it has to be said, having top-class vocal talents. All have a reasonable stab at American accents and are backed by the large chorus whose footwork is splendid.

The costume changes are numerous, and there is some excellent comedy, like in the frenetic Keystone Cops scene.

This Mack and Mabel is fast moving with few unplanned gaps and, if last night's opener is anything to go by, there is little which needs honing beyond a couple of 'black' spots and sound problems.

And above all the whole cast look as if they are really enjoying themselves. It is well worth a visit to remember those songs you've forgotten.

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