Wednesday, 17 May 2017

"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” by Greasepaint Productions
Loughborough Town Hall
The musical is based on the 1988 film with Michael Caine and Steve Martin, but at one stage, David Bowie and Mick Jagger were in the possible running for the film version. Yes fact fans it’s true. Would I con ya?
What hits you first about this production is the wonderful set as you’re whisked away to the glamorous and oh so stylish La Plage sur la French Riviera, ooh la la!
Enter conman Lawrence Jameson (Lyndon Perry) who discovers that a new conman on the block, known as "The Jackal" is on the prowl. Enter Freddy Benson (James Nelson), Freddy and Lawrence are polar opposites and both very funny characters.
I’ve seen both actors previously so I already knew they were more than capable of getting the comedy in the bag. The timing was spot on, even down to the facial expressions.The chemistry between these two is just lovely and natural
Freddy gets to show his cheeky side, quite literally with a semi-moon as he is dressed and undressed on stage. Something I know the group of ladies sitting close to me really appreciated.
The whole cast are all on the money and the mains and ensemble are excellent.
Jenny Nelson who plays Jolene gets to wear the most amazing wig, I found out afterwards that the wig is nicknamed "Dolly", and it's one that Dolly Parton would be very proud to own. Her big number being “Oklahoma?” was just incredibly good to watch for the choreography alone, as well as that wig! Such energy from Jenny and the ensemble.
Sean Hickling (Andre) comes into his own in Act Two and also delivers his fair share of comedy lines, and I can only imagine what he does with that Toblerone!!
Jodie Blowfield (Muriel) also is featured more in the second act as a pairing with Andre makes for magic theatre with some very funny comic moments
Erica Makin (Christine Colgate) was fantastic, a smooth dancer and what a voice she has, but just you wait to see what she has up her sleeve at the end!
Great light design creating a very colourful and visually exciting production by Kevin Cutts and a crystal clear sound designed by Dave Cooper and Jack Harper.
A busy stage crew worked tirelessly to get the scene changes done smoothly under the stage
management of Lynsey Bloomfield.
Directed by Shane Perry, who was also responsible for the previous show “Barnum” seems to have the directorial Midas touch.In the same way as Barnum" he spruces up a very funny script with topical references.
We get Prince Harry name checked in "Great Big Stuff", Lady Gaga gets a mention as does Rihanna and local references like Coalville, Hathern and Loughborough all get name checked.
What can I say about the soundtrack. Having listened to the songs for the last couple of weeks, I loved all of the tracks and James Stevens, who was the Musical Director brought the magic and humour of the songs to life. The styles of the music in this soundtrack are varied which gave him something to get his musical teeth into.
The lyrics are seeped with comedy but "All About Ruprecht" is just hilarious, and also explained many of the references he made to me during my chat with him on the radio last Sunday.
You can’t beat a good old country hoe down to get the toes a tapping and the hands a clapping and, by contrast, a wondrous ballroom section all wonderfully choreographed by Jeanette Patrick-Cooper and co choreographer Shane Perry, who also was involved in the ensemble.
Having never seen this musical before, and never even seen the film, I am so glad that this was my first experience of "Scoundrels" and I'm pleased that it was Greasepaint who introduced me to such a very funny piece of theatre.
The audience were after a great evening of music and comedy and Greasepaint gave them what they
wanted without a shadow of a doubt. The standing ovation said it all and we were even treated to a tribute to Morecambe and Wise by Nelson and Perry.
Grab a programme as well because it's bright and colourful, just like the production, thanks to Cazz Lander.
“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” is at Loughborough Town Hall until Saturday 20 May 2017

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