Porgy and bess

CAROLINE CULOT Norwich Theatre Royal


The blistering heat of summertime in Charleston, South Carolina, in the 1930s was brought to life with this passionate production of the Gershwin classic.

Saturday night saw Norwich theatre-goers treated to a one-night performance by the Living Arts company, now touring in its 12th year, having performed in more than 400 cities on five continents.

And what an honour to see this production about a doomed love affair set against the corrupt background of alcohol, drugs and poverty.

The production is known for its classic song Summertime and other favourites I Got Plenty of Nuttin and It Aint Necessarily So.

But in fact, the living for the black folk of Catfish Row is anything but easy – with the constant taking of “happy dust”, alcohol and ensuing violence. Porgy and Bess is no easy tale.

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Cedric Cannon made a superb Porgy, enthralling the audience with his sexy, deep voice and his charismatic delivery of I Got Plenty of Nuttin.

Elizabeth Graham brought a delicate vulnerability to the role of Bess and Duane Moody made a very sleazy drug pusher, Sportin' Life.

And there was a lot of passion to raise the temperature even higher.

But, of course, what you really remember is the music.

How can anyone not come away humming Summertime or I Got Plenty Nuttin? That's the magic of Gershwin and with a programme which included all the words to all the songs, what could be better?

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