Wimborne Musical Theatre presents: Sounds of the 50’s and 60’s

We are pleased to present popular music looking back through the 50’s and 60’s. A selection of lively foot tapping and easy listening music from the two decades to keep you entertained. Plenty of singing, movement and dancing to suit everyone’s taste. The programme includes a varied selection of popular music of the day together with songs from shows released during this period. So please come and sing along with us and enjoy this great experience.

Just small selection of the epic songs included in the show are:

Living doll, I could have danced all night, Hello Dolly!, Mr Sandman, Hound dog, It’s my party, Let’s twist again, San Francisco (be sure to wear flowers in your hair), All shook up, Rock around the clock, Lollipop, Secret Love, Stranger in Paradise

Sound of 50s and 60s

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Review: Kiss Me, Kate – Blackmore Vale

Another fantastic review today, this time from the Blackmore Vale magazine. Tickets are still on sale, and the show ends on Saturday – please do come along!

Based on The Taming of the Shrew, this musical is arguably one of the hardest to produce as it needs singers, not just with acting skills, but with the ability to deliver the Bard’s verse.

It is a play within a play. An American theatre company are opening at a theatre in Baltimore with the Shakespeare play and the conflict between the two leading actors is replicated on stage. Fortunately the company has been able to call upon some talented performers.

Mark Ward, a highly experienced actor more than fills the shoes of Fred/Petruchio, as he like his co-star Julie Gower (Lilli/Kate), has impressive stage presence. Their complicated relationship – they had previously been married – brings just the right measure of tension coupled with humour.

With a 17-strong cast – plus four actors who have a variety of roles, together with six dancers – it is not possible to mention everyone in this colourful show, however several other performances have to be highlighted.

Sally Ager is a real winner as Lois/Bianca. Not only does she keep up a very strong Southern American accent, she fizzes with every move.

Teamed with her is her gambler boyfriend, Lee Neal, who never overacts but always gets under the skin of his roles.

The songs were written by Cole Porter and there are several very catchy numbers such as Wunderbar, Always True to You in My Fashion and Another Op’nin Another Show, with Duncan Sayers as Paul/Gremio providing a rather good rendition of Too Darn Hot.

Frank Holden and Bill Mason add a valuable comedic touch as the two gangsters in this well rehearsed production, directed and choreographed by Suzi De Villiers, with musical direction by Lee Redwood.

If you’re not a Shakespeare fan, don’t be put off from buying your ticket, as you will enjoy this show, which runs until Saturday.

Marilyn Barber, Blackmore Vale

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Review: Kiss Me, Kate! SceneOne

Our first review is in for Kiss Me, Kate – our latest production, running this week in Wimborne. Tickets are still available, so why not come along?

The Taming of the Shrew is regarded by modern scholars as one of Shakespeare’s ‘problem plays’ because Katherina’s total submission to Petruchio at the end sits uncomfortably with today’s audiences, even those with little active sympathy for feminism. Being based on the play, Kiss Me, Kate shares the difficulty to an extent, but any discomfort is submerged by the light and frothy nature of the piece, not to mention Cole Porter’s classic tunes and brilliant lyrics. These make it one of the great musicals of the 20th century, and Wimborne Musical Theatre do it such justice that if you can catch one of their performances later in the week, you are in for a treat.

More than most musicals, the show depends on one man, Fred Graham, who is playing Petruchio in the ‘play within a play’. Mark Ward is more substantial than many Petruchios, but it makes him a dominating presence on stage and he has a strong baritone voice to go with it. Stepping into the production comparatively late, Mark Ward said that he has always wanted to play the part, and his high-quality performance is that of a man achieving a life’s ambition. Pacey dialogue is good, but he could usefully slow down his delivery slightly: a minor quibble compared with his excellence in every other respect.

As his sparring partner, Lilli Vanessi, Julie Gower shows what a first-rate actress she is. She can do shrewish, she can do meltingly attractive, her body language in reacting to other characters is just right, and in songs like ‘I hate men’ and ‘So in love’, she knows that superbly acted emotion beats volume every time.

Lois Lane/Bianca is played by Sally Ager in an unlikely blonde wig as sex on (extremely shapely) legs. She is a natural mover on stage but sings and acts well, too. You can feel every red-blooded man in the audience taking her to their hearts in ‘Always true to you in my fashion’. As usual, though, the show is stolen by ‘Brush up your Shakespeare’, sung by the gangsters known only as ‘First man’ (Frank Holden) and ‘Second man’ (Bill Mason). There are pleasant cameos from Duncan Sayers as Paul, Lee Neal as Bill Calhoun and Phil Evans as General Harrison Howell. All the cast maintain their American accents well.

Kiss Me, Kate is something of a nightmare for the stage crew, involving a lot of scene changes and some quite complicated sets, but their performance was remarkably slick for a first night. The hired sets are well designed and painted, although a bit of reinforcement would stop the wall between Fred’s and Lilli’s dressing rooms wobbling alarmingly every time the door in it is opened.

Director Suzy de Villiers has introduced some imaginative movement and some attractive dancing into ‘Another op’nin’, another show’ and that standard is generally maintained throughout, while musical director Lee Redwood has rehearsed his singers well. They must both weep into their beer at the shortage of strong young male performers; Wimborne Musical Theatre is far from being alone in facing this problem, but it does mean that the ensemble singing sometimes comes across as rather thin and that numbers like ‘We open in Venice’ don’t have their full impact.

One of the gangsters tells Fred that his The Taming of the Shrew is ‘calculated to satisfy any discriminating theatre-goer’. The same can truly be said of this production.


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Our Next Show: Kiss Me Kate

We’re pleased to announce that tickets are now on sale for our next show – the fabulous Kiss Me, Kate!

Kiss Me Kate Graphic

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The Golden Days of Music Hall

We’ve had a great time rehearsing The Golden Days of Music Hall, so here are a few pics of our costume call – we’ll be back soon with our new show for 2016 – Kiss Me Kate!!








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Our November Show!


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Society Fundraising: Dorset Cream Teas

The last of our Fundraising Cream Teas will take place this weekend – please see the poster for details.

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The King & I: Review from The Blackmore Vale Magazine

Another great review from the Blackmore Vale Magazine. The show is running until Saturday, so why not Get your tickets today?

“Exotic and colourful, with an ethos that is a world away from 21th century England, this Rogers and Hammerstein classic set in 1862 is a challenge for even the most accomplished group.

Key to its success is the casting of The King of Siam – now Thailand – and Anna, the governess brought over to teach his innumerable children.

The role of the sovereign who demanded absolute authority was always going to be in safehands with Philip Redgrave, who is a consummate professional who simply inhabits the characters he takes on.

Sharron Pearcy not only has a wide vocal range, she is adept at portraying the humour in a part, and this she did perfectly, as she endeavoured to make sure ‘her head was never higher than the King’s’.

Two other top local female singers, Heather Pretlove as the King’s first wife Lady Thiang, and Sally Ager as Tuptim, the slave from Burma, are able to not only entrance the audience with their vocal skills, but they also get under the skin of their characters.

Lee Neal (Tuptim’s lover) and Phil Evans, (the King’s trusted but grumpy adviser) are usually the stars of a production, but in their smaller roles, they were both able to add to the talent pool.

Verwood panto regular Sam Shipp as the Prince and Oliver Plummer as Anna’s son Louis, are young actors clearly destined for further roles.

Supporting parts were played by Andy Trant as the ship’s captain, John Bounds as the diplomat, Ron Kite as the interpreter and KD Johnson, as a member of the King’s entourage.

Add to this the chorus formed by the royal wives, the dancers and eleven Royal children and you have a substantial cast – all of whom had clearly been so well rehearsed that you knew nothing was likely to go wrong. And it doesn’t.

The costumes are superb and it goes without saying that with so many catchy numbers such as Hello Young Lovers, Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance, your feet are tapping much of the time.

The ballet sequence performed by the dancers and the children is simply entrancing, and one of the high spots of this production.

So top marks go to choreographer Suzi DeVilliers, and musical director Lee Redwood.

Most of the cast have to assume Siamese accents, which they do pretty well, however on occasions it was a little difficult to understand the spoken word. Perhaps the sound system needs to be adjusted for this excellent show which runs until this Saturday.”

Marilyn Barber

Review kindly reproduced from Blackmore Vale Magazine.

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The King & I: Review from SceneOne

The reviews are coming in for The King & I, which is playing this week at the Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne. Tickets are still available, so why not come along?

“I was a little disconcerted when the curtain went up on this show on the first night to find that the top I was wearing appeared to have been cut out from some hidden piece of the backcloth. Seriously though, it did feel a bit strange to look at the backcloth, then at my top, and realise how similar they were with their flowers and palms – and I didn’t even buy it in Bangkok!

Anyway, I digress. What an absolutely superb show this proved to be, in every way. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s glorious score definitely comes into the ‘every one’s a winner’ category, and musical director Lee Redwood ensures that it is heard to its best advantage thanks to a first-rate band and really good singing from principals and chorus alike. There are great lighting effects too, the sound is well balanced and costumes are gorgeous.

Director Roy Joseph and choreographer Suzi De Villiers have kept their staging traditional, simple and effective, and it is perhaps a measure of the show’s success that I, who have seen The King and I countless times over the years, was close to tears during the final scene, so drawn into the story had I become, and you could have heard a pin drop in the auditorium.

That, of course, was very much due to the outstanding principal line-up, in particular the excellent Philip Redgrave as the King. As always with Phil, he really gets to the core of his character and makes him utterly believable, and there is a tremendous chemistry between him and Sharron Pearcy, who is a wonderfully feisty Anna. Heather Pretlove is simply stunning as the King’s senior wife, Lady Thiang, and all three score incredibly highly in the acting and singing stakes.

Smaller roles are well filled too: Phil Evans is a menacing Kralahome, Sally Ager a very appealing Tuptim and Lee Neal just right as her lover, Lun Tha. Oliver Plummer is beautifully smiley as Anna’s son, Louis, and Samuel Shipp extremely regal as Prince Chulalongkorn, while there’s a lovely cameo from John Bounds as Sir Edward Ramsey.

There’s good chorus work as well. The ‘Siamese Children’ are a delight, and I especially liked the Small House of Uncle Thomas ballet. Congratulations too to those in the chorus who are singing during that number – I’ve been in the show and I know how difficult that piece is, but it sounded super.

It may be a long way to Siam, or Thailand as it is better known these days, but there’s a little piece of it just down the road in Wimborne this week, and it’s well worth a visit.”

Review kindly reproduced from SceneOne.

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Calling All Girl Dancers!!

WE NEED GIRL DANCERS for our production of “THE KING and I” at the Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne, from the 16th to 20th June.

You will be in one major routine called the “Little House of Uncle Tom “. If you are aged between 14 and 19 and have dance school experience, come and join us to perform in this wonderful show

Contact Julia on 01202 530 069 or Sylvia on 07973 285 334.

Our rehearsals are at Merley community Centre, Harrier Drive Wimborne, Thursday and Friday nights and Sunday afternoons.


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