IAN CLARKE Memorial Hall, Dereham
Memorial Hall, Dereham
On the eve of your 60th birthday you could be forgiven for taking things a bit easier; relax, be satisfied with your achievements and enjoy a chilled-out retirement.
For Dereham Operatic Society, though, such thoughts of resting on any laurels of past glories could not be further from the truth as members prepare for the diamond anniversary in 2008.
Saturday's gala opening night of Anything Goes, a delightful mix of comedy, romance and foot-tapping music favourites, proved that the society could still take productions to new heights.
It was not the easiest build-up to the autumn musical, with the society being told just a week ago that the Memorial Hall kitchen had failed an environmental health check. This ensured a major headache for the first-night catering.
- 1 Hermes courier and his wife could be jailed over ‘stolen parcels’
- 2 Obituary: Tributes after 'heart-shaped hole' is left following teaching assistant's death
- 3 How Norfolk's current Covid figures compare to November 2020 lockdown
- 4 Man arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting girl on her way to school
- 5 Row erupts after dozens of trees aligning footpath chopped down
- 6 Christmas lights switch-on cancelled due to forecasted high winds
- 7 Fire crews tackle large barn blaze
- 8 Significant damage to church after metal stolen from roof
- 9 Primary pupil sexually assaulted on way to school
- 10 Freezing cold temperatures could see snow in parts of Norfolk this weekend
Throw in a throat problem for leading lady Linda Campbell (Reno Sweeney) right up until Friday and one or two other
pre-show hiccups and the end result to which the packed audience was treated was even more impressive.
The energy, enthusiasm and confidence were oozing on the SS American from the cast, a great blend of experienced Dereham performers and young newcomers.
Linda was stunning as nightclub singer Reno, and Nick Bird (stowaway Billy Crocker) displayed his immense versatility as leading man - and produced his wide variety of different accents all in the right places!
The depth of quality in the cast was perhaps the most impressive aspect of the show.
Katie Wicks was a delightful Hope Harcourt, David Chapman took to the role of gangster Moonface Martin superbly - his rendition of Be Like The Bluebird was unforgettable - Julie Hewitt blossomed in her part of Moonie's friend, Bonnie, while David Rees brought the hapless English aristocrat, Sir Evelyn Oakleigh, to life.
Tony Wilds, well loved by Dereham audiences over many years as panto dame, was equally popular as drunken Wall Street boss Elisha Whitney.
And special mention must go to Kevin Reeve and Ron Eaglen (Chinese converts Ching and Ling), who added a great spice of comedy.
The list of those deserving praise could go on and on.
Life may begin at 40, but it is getting even better at almost 60 for Dereham Operatic Society.
t Anything Goes continues at Dereham Memorial Hall until Saturday, October 13, with shows nightly at 7.30pm and a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.