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A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
Reviewed by: Richard Lovelock
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum was Stephen Sondheim’s first major success and it still has a timeless charm. A farcical romp through ancient Rome where identities constantly get mistaken, houses get mixed up and we get a fair share of bawdy humour.
Central to all the comings and goings is the slave Pseudolus played by Bryony Growdon
Pseudolus’ master Senex was played confidently by Peter Sayers, upbeat when chasing
the ladies but downtrodden in the presence of his battle-
Richard Fraser as Marcus Lycus, the proprietor of the local house of ill repute, was suitably sleazy whilst trying to control his courtesans – Alison Gibbs, Paula Fraser, Vikki Rehm, Stevie Gibbs, Tammy Wall and Ketina Orriss.
The centre of the story revolves around Pseudolus’ attempt to arrange a relationship
between the dumb blond virgin Philia (Elle-
The cast was completed by the Proteans played by Teresa Newham, Catherine Robertson and Rob Jones – who also doubled as the Eunoch.
The set was simple but worked efficiently, with a number of entrances which gave great scope to the comings and goings to the cast, particularly in the final rush around the stage. I did though think the door handles looked very out of place in Ancient Rome. The lighting was good throughout and added to the atmosphere when required.
Some of the costumes were very good and fitted the times, I liked the way that Philia, Hysterium and Domina were all made to look similar at the end. However a few costumes did look quite strange and I was not sure why one of the courtesans was a dominatrix and another a cat.
Even without amplification every word could be heard and particularly in the ensemble numbers the singing was lovely. Musical Director Jane Stott and her four piece band never overplayed those on stage and sounded just right.
It was obvious that the cast enjoyed themselves, and when that happens so does the audience.
Putteridge Bury Gilbert & Sullivan Society
“A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE
WAY TO THE FORUM”
review date: 7th October 2017
Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin
Director: Amanda Sayers MD: Jane Stott