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Thoroughly Modern Millie, WOW! - Witham Public Hall

Guest Reviewer - Christine Davidson

WOW never fails to deliver strong performances and their latest show is no exception. Directed by Claire Carr, she presented to us a really superb, bright and excellent production. Choreographer, Claire made this show sparkle and the almost full house on the first night proves that this is a winner.

A very strong cast provided excellent performances from everyone.  Set in the roaring twenties in New York young Yasmin Sharp playing Millie Dilmount; was superb in the leading role.  Her musicality, singing, dancing and all round characterisation of the role, showed just how much work she had put in to become Millie. Indeed I forgot that she was an amateur, such was her professional attitude on stage. This was a really strong performance from this very talented young lady.

The two male leads were also excellent. Ben Collins as Jimmy Smith and Tom Nicoll as Trevor Graydon, both had superb singing voices and had great stage presence.  They both were very confident and you could see how much they were enjoying their individual roles. I understand that Ben has been offered a three year BA Hons degree course at Emil Dale Academy and I truly hope to see Ben on the West End Stage in the future.

Another superb, strong lady on stage was Lily Downes as the evil Chinese Mrs Meers. She gave us a wonderful OTT performance. Think Pantomime evil dame and she had it in spades.  With her were her two underlings, Ryan Wuyts as Ching Ho and William Hackett as Bun Foo who were very comedic and kept their Chinese accents throughout.  It was fun to have the translation at stage left for us all to understand what they were singing about.
Miss Dorothy (Poppy Fisher) was beautifully played with a languid quiet air, giving us a delightful performance and with a clear singing voice. Muzzy Van Hossmere (Hattie Phillips) was the glamorous nightclub singer and actress who at the end was found out to be Jimmy’s mother. At only thirteen she gave us a confident mature performance and obviously enjoyed the role.

A wonderful over the top ginger wig for Miss Flannery (Mia Nichols) helped to make her role a really funny one, and she delivered her speeches eloquently.

The ensembles were terrific with great timing, especially the tap dancing sequences. The orchestra conducted by Musical Director Susannah Edam were excellent. The music was never too loud and allowed us to easily here the singers.

The costumes and wigs were superb. Indeed the wardrobe team and Patsy Page must be commended for the incredible amount of work involved in organising all of this.
Scenery was simple and the backstage crew were very competent. Considering it was first night and two of the crew were not there, they had it all down to a T with only a couple of little problems which were soon rectified. Lighting was good although sometimes some of the cast did not find their light, and the follow spot occasionally was a little slow but I’m sure that now that they have one show under their belts this will not happen again.

The whole show was a delight and huge congratulations to everyone involved. You all should be very proud of your achievements and I urge everyone to book a ticket and see this Thoroughly Modern show.
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