A Very International Variety Show (It’s a Little Bit Bonkers) by Cheriton Players.

Songs-Sketches-Music-Laughter is their introduction to this eccentric mixture of performances. Tonight was their opening night, and unlike many first nights where a few missed lines or hiccups happen along the way. This performance felt very well rehearsed and the actors all appeared to be very comfortable in their roles nothing suggested even a glimpse of first-night nerves.

With such a wide range of sketches and different musical spots, from the Can Can to Chitty Chitty bang bang it is impossible to list them all. However, the few selected for the purpose of this review were particular ones that stood out to me. This is by no means suggesting that each act wasn’t good, as they all were.

Alison Carter’s rendition of Habanera from the Opera Carmen by Georges Bizet was outstanding. Her pitch, timing and voice were breathtaking. A very moving performance. This company has an extremely talented and strong lead vocalist in this lady as part of their repertoire.

Each table was treated to a tasty cheese, pate and grapes platter accompanied by a French stick to enjoy through the interval. Added to by the very efficient table service for drinks. The hospitality given by this theatre company is excellent and all credit to the front of the house.

Placed through both acts were very well written and funny four-man sketches titled Language Lessons. David Cradduck as our stereotype English businessman asks nine different foreign men all played brilliantly by John Weston where the train station is in each country. They are exaggerated characters of each nationality and are easily identified. Rebecca Leadley and Marilyn Weston explain the questions and answers as a double act. A touch of genius to break up the acts at regular intervals.

You cannot fail to notice a large number of costume changes held by this company. Claire Smith and Ellie Pulleine have certainly done an amazing job in this department with all of their outfits in keeping with their parts and with some on occasions looking to have been custom made professionally to match.

Helen Gard and Stephanie Durrant in Staycation pokes fun at the British idea of holidays as two antiquated stereotyped housewives sit before you on stage and discuss their holiday plans over a nice pot of tea. One is off to Spain or so she thinks. The other is camping at Mygate, not Margate. The quirky details of the backyard camping are explained in detail from showering with the garden hose to the karaoke evening entertainment. Such a simple idea but hilariously brilliant.

It would be unfair to single any one member out from the production team as I dare say they all worked tirelessly to put on this extremely entertaining and well-cast showcase. Another success to add to their long list of past shows.

The one thing to be taken away from tonight’s performance is the energy and enjoyment the whole cast exhibit while on stage. Big smiles and lots of energy all aides to settling the audience by showing that they command the stage and want us to enjoy ourselves. An absolutely fun night out. If there are still tickets available I urge you to go and sample the best of which Cheriton Players have to offer.

The cast list is taken from their programme:

The production team:

Photo credit to Cheriton Players.

http://www.thecheritonplayers.org.uk

@CheritonPlayers

Email thecheritonplayers@gmail.com

3rd-6th April 2019

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