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A tribute to the music in films, this was a thoroughly enjoyable evening with some really good numbers and a very pleasant setting.

The use of the church wall at the back of the stage as a screen, where details about the songs and film clips were projected, made the production very interesting, with some lovely lighting effects to enhance the performers and their music.

Sound was not always perfect, but bearing in mind that no-one had radio mics, and sound was generated by voice projection and static mics, the overall impression was that everyone had done a good job.

The vocal standard was mainly high, achieved by Jonny Mills with some assistance from Richard Cowling.   The accompanying trio gave a good backing to the musical numbers, and it was also nice to see John O’Leary adding guitar backing for some numbers.

The opening was very good – atmospheric and dramatic, with the use of torches to light the faces of the initial soloists working extremely well – this was essentially an ensemble piece, with various lines being highlighted.

I am not going to even attempt to mention every person or every number, or this review would run into reams, but suffice to say that the whole was a good evening’s entertainment, and I will pick out a few highlights for me.

I was blown away by the depth and unusual tones of Alex Orr’s voice, she put a new edge on a well-known song, that usually at best is OK, but I saw it in a whole different light.  I thought she shone of the ladies.

I loved the integration of Stage 1 into the proceedings – always lovely to see young people on stage and enjoying themselves.  There were some performers who inevitably shone a little more brightly than others, but in an essentially ensemble piece it would be unfair to pick out anyone individually.  

I loved their two numbers, and also the way they joined in the finale with such gusto.

David Mills showed us once again what a showman he is – with some lovely renditions, and I particularly liked the number he did with John O’Leary, the guitar accompaniment and blend of their voices made it a totally lovely experience.

As a generalisation, I needed more animation from the ensemble, they did well with the darkness of the opening number of Act 1 – but failed a little on the opening of Act 2,which sounded absolutely lovely ladies, but I wanted to feel and see the joyousness of the words.

The close of Act 1 was also very well sung – a difficult piece, but the featured parts were very strong, which gave the lead to the ensemble.  The finale was very lively, with Stage 1 adding lots of fun to it too.

I liked Andy Sizmur’s second song more than his earlier song, with the girls lending plenty of vigour to the number.

Frances Hall never fails to please, her song being a heart-wrenching number, which always makes me feel a bit emotional.

I thoroughly enjoyed Jonny Mills comedy number with Phil Storey, a whole new take on it, but a nice departure, and some light relief.  I also loved Luke Storey and Jonny’s take on their duet, again very funny and well-crafted.  

It was also nice to see Jo Yirrell back on stage and performing with her usual flair.

The whole evening was a very enjoyable experience, down to the popcorn sellers in their natty costumes, and the ice creams – all nicely thought out to blend in with the scenario.

The cast obviously worked very hard, the production went well, with some nice technical touches that enhanced the production and everyone I spoke to was impressed with the standard of performance from all concerned.

St. Andrew’s Players


review date: 26TH Oct 2013

St. Margaret’s Church, Luton

Staged & Directed by:Emma Orr & Emma Mills

  MD: Jonathan Mills

Choreographer: Jo Harris

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