ACT Reviews 2022-2023 Season

There are numerous laugh out loud moments, especially those between Sarah Thewlis as Chris, who delivered dialogue with pace and timing, and Ali Foy as Cora. The later, along with the company, had me giggling with the song “Who wants a Silent Night”, maybe I will use this rendition when Christmas arrives. Katie Perkins as Jenny and Deni Griffiths as Danny were a hoot as they portrayed the flirty teenagers with their coming of age banter. Daniel Eccles as Tommo also had humorous dialogue that made many think back to their teenage years. Dawn Leigh was engaging as Annie, who becomes the widow. Her expressions of hurt, lost love were gentle and not overly dramatic. This conveyed the hurt and grief that she felt more effectively and touched many in the audience. This musical uses the themes of friendship, community, support and empathy to tell not only the main story but those of individuals as they battle with their own hang-ups as to why they cannot possibly pose for a nude calendar. The calendar photo shoot was super, with well-placed props (a shout out to Matt Bridle and Susan McClure here) and great facial expressions that were also projected on the back wall for all to see. This really did have the audience laughing. We saw characters such as Jessie (Shirley Harrison) and Ruth (Julie Proffit) tear away their reticence of rejection and backlash from the community they live in. The sight of Denise Carter (Tea) and Eleanor Wales (Coffee) will be an image that will stay with me for a long time! Even Vikki Bullar (Marie) the formidable leader of the WI band finally saw the humour of it all. The supporting cast, especially the male partners; Mike Sammon, Stuart Hall, Paul Allison and Stephen Mallinson helped gel the story line. The set and scenery was quite minimal but this meant that the focus was on the characters’ interaction and storytelling. This musical cannot claim to have the catchiest songs in musical theatre, indeed you leave not really remembering any of them but what it does leave you with is a feeling of comfort and that you have shared a hug with those around you. The production team of Michael McCaw, Paul Lawton, Steve Hilditch