Review: Theatre troupe celebrated 90th year with show that enraptured

EXPERT PERFORMANCE Amanda Ayre amazed audiences, writes Malcolm Haigh.
EXPERT PERFORMANCE Amanda Ayre amazed audiences, writes Malcolm Haigh.
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Energy, enterprise and entertainment were found in abundance in the production of the musical Sweet Charity presented at Batley Town Hall last week by the Carlinghow Theatre Company.

Leading the way was the appropriately named leading lady Amanda Eyre who left everyone amazed at the amount of enthusiasm and expertise which she poured into the part of Charity, the lovelorn dancehall hostess repeatedly let down by the men in her life.

Her skill, talent and stamina was incredible in a delightful musical which wasn’t quite as obvious as many productions.

In a script with very few spoken words she was regularly in the limelight demonstrating her skilled dancing talent, tremendous singing voice and incredible memory at being able to recall the multitude of tasks she had to perform.

But her undoubted and amazing skills – she also choreographed all the numbers – were just a few of the stunning aspects of this out-of-the-ordinary musical.

She had lots of support from her dancehall delightees –Melanie Dixon, Bev Sheard and Jane Griffin; plenty of reflective characterisations from Nigel Dixon, Gareth Jones, Chris Hall and Adam Schewtschuk, and a glut of other energetic hostesses to keep the music flowing and the beat beating.

The audience was obviously carried away by the presentation of popular numbers such as Big Spender, If My Friends Could See Me Now, I Love To Cry At Weddings and The Rhythm of Life, but were equally enraptured with other less well known numbers which proved to be magnetic.

This show, directed by Nigel Dixon, was the company’s 90th anniversary production but it could become one of the best remembered because of the out-of-the-ordinary talent and presentation exhibited within it.

Other cast members were: Janet Peace, Alan Sykes, Andrew Holdsworth, Olivia Griffin. Other Fandango Girls were: Christine Shoesmith, Andrea Reed, Jackie Braddock, Jenny Alexander, Lisa Cockroft, Caroline Pringle, Rebekah Peace, Tracy Hindson. The other dancers and chorus members were: Anna Holmes, Esme McCalman, Sandra Chapman, Jean Campsall, June Schewtschuk, Mandy Sweeney, Sue Holdsworth, Gwen Bachelor and Trudi Enright.

The atmosphere was set by a talented orchestra conducted by Ian Abbott.