Bride and joy of society

NDET 98325'Chesterfield Operatic Society dress rehearsal for seven brides for seven brothers
NDET 98325'Chesterfield Operatic Society dress rehearsal for seven brides for seven brothers

THE story is well-known: feisty girl is swept off her feet by mountain farmer, only to find she has to civilize his six brothers and find wives for them. Chesterfield Operatic Society have brought Seven Brides for Seven Brothers to the Pomegranate for the first time in their long history.

The production looks wonderful: rustic wood buildings, lots of colourful gingham for the girls, and the boys soon shed their grubby long johns in favour of crisp check shirts and shiny boots.

Julie Metcalfe is in her element as spirited Milly; dancing is central to the show, and that’s where her roots lie, though she graduated to leading lady some years ago.

Robert Spencer cuts a dash as stubborn Adam, the farmer taken unawares by love.

The fights are as carefully choreographed as the dancing, and the townsfolk are as lively and determined as Milly and her band of brothers-in-law.

Sixteen-year-old Edward Jowle is outstanding as Gideon, the youngest brother; his glorious voice and natural manner make him one to watch.

Of the girls carried off by the brothers, Alison Doram as Dorcas with the big smile and Lucy Telfer as wide-eyed, tenacious Alice make the strongest impression.

Seasoned players like Pauline Hindle, Sarah Morrell and Ian Jones help keep the production grounded – but it’s very much a young people’s show, with a youthful line-up among the townsfolk as well as on the mountain. More power to the Operatics for assembling a large cast of appropriate ages.

It runs till Saturday.

LYNNE PATRICK