Thoroughly Modern Millie
20th February 2019
Fatfield Musical Stage Society
St.Robert of Newminster College
Type of Production
Author: Foster Johnson
Fatfield Musical Stage Society continued their 70th year celebrations in fine style with a rip roaring rendition of Thoroughly Modern Millie. What a way to do so as the show, based on the Academy Award winning film of the same name, had everything you could wish for a great night at the Theatre. It had pace, effervescence, good scenery and costumes, fine interpretation of the musical numbers, excellent singing and some wonderful dance numbers from the Principals and ensemble alike which were ideally suited to represent the jazz age era in which the show was set.
The Principal line up was on tip top form, and they well suited for their respective roles with some fine characterisations on display They were ideally cast. Zoe Cooke was perfect as Millie Dillmount the leading lady of the Show. She had boundless energy and a bubbly personality which shone on every appearance and transmitted itself to the audience. With the added singing and dancing talents she has she is an excellent all round performer. Adam Donaldson (jimmy Smith) delivered ,as he always does, a solid and highly interpretative professional performance and proved to be the ideal counterpoint to Millie.
Steph Crewe (Dorothy) continues to grow as a performer and was perfect in the part. For me she has natural comedic talents and can sing and dance too. When she performs it is not just delivery of her lines but her interpretive body language sells the story as well. She has a big future. Matthew Lowery as Trevor Graydon the stuffed shirt Company Boss was also on the top of his game and his characterisation of this role was excellent, including his interpretation of the musical numbers “Speed Test” and “Ah Sweet Mystery of Life”
The Society is also blessed with some fine comedy performers and three of them were brought together in this show. What a trio they are and how they worked their socks off to deliver. Norma Ord is a long serving member and it was lovely for me to witness her for the first time in a leading role as Mrs Meers, the white slave trader. Alongside her we had Jeff Page (Bung Fo) and Anthony Heslop (Ching Ho) the hapless and reluctant servants of Mrs Meers. Jeff is a vastly experienced and talented performer who brought it to the fore yet again to meld with Anthony into a fine comedy duo. As for Anthony he is a young actor/singer/dancer who has shown from an early age that he can become a tour de force in the world of amateur theatre and with performances like this one is sure to do so. The Principal line up was complete with Claire Taylor(Muzzy Van Hossmere) and Janet Cooper Miss Flannery) again two pivotal parts of the show and my how they delivered their contributions.
The Ensemble cannot be forgotten as their overall performance which included fine singing ,acting and well choreographed dancing neatly wound up a great night.
Finally I turn my thoughts and congratulations to the talents of Director/ Choreographer Helen Abraham and Musical Director Tim Jasper who worked as a team to bring together this happy piece of theatre to a packed and appreciative audience. To me the storyline may be thin, the musical score not the most dynamic but oh what a good job they made of it. Standout numbers were “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (Ensemble) “Speed Test” (Millie, Graydon, Flannery, Ensemble)”What do I need with Love” (Jimmy) “Ah Sweet Mystery of Life” (Graydon Dorothy Millie) and “Falling in Love”(Jimmy,Millie ,Graydon and Dorothy)