The Boy Friend - a review

SANDY Wilson’s The Boy Friend was an inspired choice for the local Musical Theatre Company Youth Group’s recent production: two hours of delightful dottiness, exaggerated dialogue and accomplished dance routines, all served up with flair and energy under the experienced guidance of director Matthew Chancellor and producer Fiona Wilson Waterworth.

Their teamwork has clearly worked wonders in building up the confidence of the young cast. Set in a 1920’s finishig school on the French Riviera, the show’s storyline couldn’t be simpler – rich young heiress Polly Browne (charmingly played by Jess Kambitsis) meets well-heeled aristocrat (an excellent account from Ryan Woodcock), though both take three acts to realise each other’s identities and to surmount the obstacles on the road to married bliss.

The various supporting and contrasting characters were well played: amongst them Polly’s friend Hortense (Mollie McKernan), Bobby the romantic American (Ed Chancellor), and Lord Brockhurst, the elderly husband with an eye for the girls (Josh Terry, well cast indeed.) Samantha Redfern (as Madame Dubonnet) and Will Steele (as Polly’s widowed father) made a convincing pair, whose flame of love happily rekindled later in life.

Other lesser characters, vivacious and constantly giggling, combine to keep things moving with much brisk Twenties twirling and tuneful singing. Tamsin Clarke-Holland’s choreography was fresh and creative. The ten-piece orchestra, under Keith Oliver’s able baton, gave the show plenty of momentum, with a backdrop of palm trees and fairy lights – another very professional job from John Wigmore and his team.

All in all, very good value for money, satisfying to the eye and the ear, and a reminder (if any be needed) that Annie, scheduled for Summer 2012, will also be pulling in the crowds.

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Review by David Mowbray

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