Hello Dolly!, Cromer

RICHARD BATSON A Broadway classic is the local 'am dram' company's choice for Jubilee year – and it is a 24-carat show.

RICHARD BATSON

A Broadway classic is the local 'am dram' company's choice for Jubilee year – and it is a 24-carat show.

The action is slick, the costumes colourful, and the songs laced with superb harmonies from a strong cast – all the usual hallmarks of Cromer and Sheringham Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, whose 'amateur' tag belies their professionalism.

The jewel glistening in this stunning setting is leading lady Claire Reynolds, who plays Dolly Levi with a sparkling self-assurance and soaring singing voice.

As well as milking the meddling side of her larger-than-life character's 'profession' of organising other people's lives, she also sensitively taps Dolly's own quest for personal happiness beneath the bravado.

She is surrounded by a strong team: David Long as hard-nosed businessman Horace Vandergelder; Amanda Howell as his intended bride Irene Molloy; Janet Hignett as her assistant and Mike Denmark and Andrew Payne dispensing slapstick and song in equal measure as Horace's downtrodden staff who bunk off work in search of romance in Victorian New York.

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The choreography by Andrea Wilson and direction of Peter Howell reach a peak in the whirling parade and restaurant scenes – with the orchestra of musical director Roger Heath adding power to the big tunes.

A mention for the clever sets which constantly changed during the action thanks to some origami-style folding 'flats', done on the hoof by the cast, which metamorphosed backdrops from street scenes to trains.

The show, which is looking swell, runs until Saturday June 8.

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