Drama group’s night of song and dance

Songs from the shows brought a variety of singers and styles to the stage in a north Derbyshire town.

Thirty-one years of performing musicals for the public offered plenty of scope for Bolsover Drama Group’s one-night-only concert.

Songs from Guys and Dolls, Carousel, Viva Mexico and West Side Story highlighted the group’s past successes.

But not content to rest on its laurels, the company took on fresh challenges from shows such as My Fair Lady, Evita, Scarlet Pimpernel, Jekyll and Hyde, Miss Saigon and Les Miserables.

A fault with the stage curtains at the Assembly Rooms meant that the performers were unable to make their usual grand entrance.

But that didn’t put them off their task of performing a rich assortment of solos, duets, chorus numbers and tap dancing to a large audience.

Personal favourite was Wendy Blunt’s powerful performance of Movie in my Mind, from Miss Saigon, closely followed by Susan Hilton and the ladies chorus singing In Love, from Viva Mexico.

The Hulett family hit the high notes, with teenager Laura getting one of the biggest cheers of the night for a rendition of Somewhere, from West Side Story. Laura’s mum Diane gave an expressive and powerful performance of When I Look at You, from Scarlet Pimpernel, and dad Derrick, backed by the full chorus, performed an equally good version of This is the Moment, from Jekyll and Hyde.

Chorus work was particularly impressive, especially the men’s unaccompanied singing of Blow High, Blow Low, from Carousel, and the full company’s rendition of Do you Hear the People Sing?, from Les Miserables.

Performers stamped their own personality and style on several of the 24 songs.

Julie Clifford and Leanne Whitehouse delighted the audience with their comic one-upmanship in Anything You Can Do, from Annie Get Your Gun, which the drama group will be staging in October.

Michelle Simpson’s pure, sweet voice brought an air of fragile vulnerability to the song Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, from Evita.

And Chrissy Smith sang On The Street Where You Live, from My Fair Lady, a song which is traditionally performed by a man.

Of the duettists, Dale Shaw and Sue Hilton tugged the heart-strings with their rendition of If I Loved You, from Carousel.

Seasoned performers Paul Holland, Ray Hall and Mick Whitehouse aired songs from Calamity Jane, Fiddler on the Roof and Guys and Dolls.

And new kids on the block, Tara Madeley, Brian Toner and Hannah Bradford showed that the future of Bolsover Drama Group is in safe hands.

The performers’ dress code was red and black; the ladies in scarlet scarves, black trousers and tops and the men in red t-shirts and black trousers. Compere Pam Mosley mixed and matched the colour scheme by wearing red trousers and black top.

Entitled For One Night Only, the evening reflected the hard work put in by performers and their musical director Paula Bargh, director Ray Hall and stage manager and choreographer Pam Mosley.

GAY BOLTON