Reviews of 'Disposing of the Body'
Reviews of 'The Likes of Us'
Review by Ann Key-Huckerby, NODA
This was a delightful production of one of the Lloyd-Webber/Rice musicals from their student days and only released recently for a limited period for amateurs to stage. The story of Dr. Barnardo's struggle to help destitute children was told by a series of narrators with a variety of musical numbers in between.
The six main characters were well portrayed. We saw Berverley Moore as the vivacious Rose; Karl Constable and Natalie Stafford were a young couple and Nick Fletcher was an auctioneer. Barnardo himself (Rob Callaby) and Rebecca Jones as Syrie who became his wife were nicely matched. There was also a cockney chorus of adults and children who all sang and danced well.
For me the highlight of the evening was the song 'Man of the World' sung most charmingly by a couple of the children. The set was a work of art which enabled scene changes to take place easily, the lighting was good and the costumes were excellent. Occasionally I felt the voices were over-amplified, but the orchestra's accompaniment was very pleasing. I was delighted to have the chance to this interesting show. Well done!
Review by The Spalding Guardian, 23 Oct 2009
The Likes of Us found a good home in the South Holland Centre thanks to St Nicolas Players.
The musical – one of the lesser-known works of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber – tells the story of Dr Thomas Barnardo, the fiery young medical student who gave up his plans to be a missionary in China when he realised the extent of homelessness in London.
Barnardo, superbly depicted by Rob Callaby, then decides to clean out the gin houses of the capital and find somewhere for the youngsters to stay.
There are also other subplots, such as the developing love between youngsters Johnny (Karl Constable) and Jenny (Natalie Stafford), the apparent alcoholism of Parliament members, and Barnardo's burgeoning feelings for Syrie (Rebecca Jones).
I am not a musical expert, but even I could pick out the influences of Tim Rice – listen to "I'm a very busy man" near the start and you might hear yourself humming "The Morning Report" from the Lion King over the top of it.
In some areas, not knowing the plot or the characters, I found it a little difficult to place them, or know their exact relevance, although this was helped somewhat by the spoken narratives in-between the scenes.
It was a brave production with some excellent individual performances, and I particularly enjoyed the roystering Lion-hearted Land from the MPs contrasting with The Likes of Us sung by the waifs and strays on the rooftop.
The Likes of Us runs until tomorrow night (Saturday), although I understand there are very few if any tickets left for tonight's performance. For more information telephone 01775 764777.
St Nicolas Players next production of TS Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral takes place in churches around the region in March next year.