Sweet Charity

Archbishop Sancroft High School, Harleston

Archbishop Sancroft High School, Harleston

A gala performance of the 1960s Broadway hit musical paving the way for a five-night run proved to be an ideal choice for the Harleston Players' 80th year celebrations.

Formed in 1927, the group is undoubtedly in the forefront of amateur dramatic societies in East Anglia and with their wealth of talent, combined with a strong youth section, their future looks assured for many years to come.

Perhaps not one of the best known shows, Sweet Charity nevertheless contains some toe-tapping songs, a great deal of humour and it certainly entertained the full first night audience.

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Natalie Lovick, aged 17, in her first major role as Charity Valentine, a dance club hostess who is looking for love, threw herself into the part with vivacious enthusiasm. Her strong singing voice combined with a confidence way beyond her years showed the marks of star quality. There were many other notable performances - the experienced Dawn Symonds as Nickie combined well with Sally Brundle as Helene in a moving duet Baby Dream Your Dream; Keith Charman as the amorous Vittorio Vidal was well matched by his jealous lover Ursula (Emma Matthews) and Mike Davison impressed as the nervous and wimpish Oscar.

The line-up of hostesses in the Fan-Dango Ballroom excelled in their rendering of Big Spender, aided by the competent band. But the most spectacular number was Rhythm of Life, involving most of the cast, in which Alan Bolton, as Daddy Brubeck, brought the house down. Costumes and hairstyles reflected the mini-skirt era and a large production team, headed by director Joan Huckle and Stella Brownsea musical director, maintained the professionalism always shown by the players.

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The show ends with two performances on Saturday, October 27.

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