2nd June 2018
Braintree Musical Society
Braintree Arts Centre
Type of Production
Author: Tessa Davies
A delightful compilation of music from 1918 to the present day. Featuring Swing Express augmented by some additional, excellent, musicians, the selection had some interesting and refreshing choices.
With a compilation show like this, there are no Principals, but the soloists were all very good, there are some very good voices in this company and it was nice to see them being featured. The dancing was well done, company pieces were nicely paced for everyone to be able to do it and the featured dancers were delightful to watch. I understand that there were quite a few newcomers in the show. I would not have known if I hadn’t been told, so well done to all.
The staging was simple, and the movement of props and stage furnishings was executed smoothly and without any drop to the pace of the show. The costumes worked well, using simple accessories to highlight the style of the music. I liked the ladies’ basic costumes of shades of mauve, it made each lady stand out, but kept an overall colour theme to the productions.
The programme was comprehensive and very full, but I did have a few favourites! Lonesome Pine was joy to watch and the two performers portraying Laurel and Hardy were very good. Only the head scratching was missing! Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy was excellent, three very good singers who worked the song perfectly. I liked Reet Petite, both the singer and the backing girls! YMCA was fun and got the audience joining in well.
Combining two companies (Swing Express and BMS) could have been tricky but it worked well and putting some dancing to some of the big band numbers added to the watchability.
It was a shame that we couldn’t hear Keyboard player, Rob Jones, singing much of the finale number but we had to applaud the performers, sorry Rob!
Overall a most enjoyable evening.