The DARLINGTON Operatic Society is well known in the region for producing high professional level amateur theater at Darlington Racecourse and its current show, Strictly Musicals 3: The Greatest Show, is no exception.
The evening features two hour-long acts of consecutive musical hits from Cabaret, Miss Saigon and The Book of Mormon. With a professional orchestra, costumes and scenography so extravagant, if I hadn’t known beforehand that it was an amateur company, I wouldn’t have guessed it.
Although this is amateur theater, it is important to note that there are professional performers within the company, including local singers Claire Willmer and Lizzie Hogarth, who have stood out for their voice-cutting abilities. breath.
Don’t Tell Mama from Cabaret was the best song of the night for me. The choreography was elegant and comical in places. Claire Monaghan’s voice was strong throughout and I imagine the fast and energetic song was not easy to sing.
One Night Only by Dreamgirls also stood out. Rhiannon Walker has a beautiful, emotional voice and if she feels like singing the phone book to me anytime, then she should call me.
This World Will Remember Us by Bonnie & Clyde was a change of pace and style. Michael Hirst and Jessica Harrison had excellent chemistry and character and their voices blended wonderfully.
It was a musical by Something Rotten that closed the first act. It was more comical and showed some of the talent of the young men in the company. Leighton and Eddie Taylor-Jones were funny and charming in this play about two brothers in the 1590s trying to write the world’s first musical in the shadow of “The Bard”.
This number was great because it made fun of musicals and how wonderfully ridiculous they are. The idea of ââsuddenly singing and dancing and taking over-the-top dramatic breaks for no reason was very well received by audiences and brought much-needed comedic relief after some of the more serious songs.
Of course, an evening of musical medleys wouldn’t be complete without a selection from Les MisÃ©rables. It was excellent. It took a break from the fun and energetic acts and really brought attention to the beautiful voices of Rachel Smith and Lizzie Hogarth in particular.
It’s hard not to like the songs “On My Own”, “Bring Him Home” and “I Dreamed a Dream”. These were performed in a stripped-down manner without complex choreography. It was a very classy musical theater piece.
The Darlington Operatic Society is arguably the most professional amateur company in the North East and after seeing this show I guess the rehearsal process and the demands on the actors and everyone involved are very high.
It would take an extremely fine comb to find any issues with this show and once again the Darlington Operatic Society has proven that Darlington is not lacking in talent.
The show will run at Darlington Racecourse through October 30 and tickets are available here.
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