42nd Street
29th October - 3rd November 2018
Photographs by John Tustin
Production Officials
Director Nora Howcroft
Musical Director Tim Power
Choreographer Lara Syddall
Assistant Musical Director Tom Bowes
Cast
Julian Marsh John Preston
Peggy Sawyer Lindsay Farnworth
Dorothy Brock Vicki Wilson
Maggie Jones Julie Ogden
Bert Barry Joe Davies
Billy Lawler David Perks
Pat Denning Rob Slater
Abner Dillon Andrew Turton
Andy Lee Alan Moss
Mac Meredith Collinson
Dance Captain Teresa Harper
Annie Michelle Foster
Phyllis Zoe Pollitt
Lorraine Katie Ryding
Diane Janet Richardson
Gladys Scarlett Sandiford
Ethel Nina Dickinson
Doctor Val Greenhalgh
Company
Jane Bickerstaffe, Carole Brooks, Sue Cliffe, Kathie Clift, Gill Davies, Paul Duckworth, Joyce Foster, Lauren Hilton, Barbara Martin, Dave McGreavy, Gill Pollitt, Ruth Prescott, Nicola Shalliker, Maria Sharrocks, Joyce Walters, David Witt, Pauline Wray

  • Bolton News review
  • NODA review
  • Review 3
  • Additional
Harry Warren’s fabulous score is brought to life in this toe tapping, energetic and stylised production of this little performed musical which Director Nora Howcroft makes short work of in ensuring every T is crossed and I dotted in this faultless production.

Opening with the iconic feet tapping as the curtain rises, the tone was set for the evening as Lara Syddall’s great choreography paid homage to the standard that is expected from this show which offers one great number after another.

As the company are busy in rehearsal, Maggie Jones, played with a great vocal range by Julie Ogden, takes them through their paces ready for the big production. The arrival of Peggy Sawyer, played brilliantly by Linsday Farnworth whose vocal dexterity and effervescent stage presence are a delight, adds a touch of class as we see Peggy turn into a star. John Preston as theatre producer Julian Marsh exudes a presumed authority as he strives to make the production work, singing effortlessly as is always the case with this seasoned performer.

As in most storylines we have a diva, and this show is no exception. Vicki Wilson is just brilliant as Dorothy Brock, being as hard as nails at every turn, and showing a softer side in a touching scene with Peggy as they sing A Quarter To Nine, showing the versatility of this fine actress which also includes the ability to deliver successful comedy.

Another super performance was displayed by David Perks as Billy Lawler and was supported ably by Joe Davies, Michelle Foster, Rob Slater and Andrew Turton in various cameo roles.

However, whilst it is important to have a great principal line up, a show is not a show without the ensemble. This production has a fabulous ensemble that all looked great and provided many a great production number which included several brilliant tap routines. Added to this, an array of costumes for each member of the company called for some well timed costume changes.

Staging was simple but effective and worked well for this production. This is one not to be missed. Many societies shy away from this production, for several reasons, but WCAODS have shown their true mettle and done themselves proud with a fast paced, slick and well-rehearsed piece that was a pleasure to watch. Musical Director Tim Power leads a top notch orchestra putting the top hat on yet another successful show from one of Bolton’s long standing leading amateur theatre groups.

Paul Cohen
BATS
NODA North West review

Producer David Merrick spent $3 million on his production in the ‘80s, when he felt audiences were ready for nostalgia. 42nd Street was based on the 1933 Warner Brothers musical. It became a long running hit winning a Tony award for best musical. The London show also won the Olivier award for best musical.

Nora Howcroft, Director, says in her programme notes it is one of the most difficult to direct as an all round talent is needed including mastering the art of tap dancing. Well, all I can say is WOW! Well done Walmsley Church AODS: Nora Howcroft certainly got the best out of her cast!

The opening scene with the curtain just a third open to reveal tap dancing legs was spectacular. I have to say Lara Syddall the choreographer certainly worked her magic. To get a cast with mixed abilities to that standard and everybody in sync I am in awe. Knowing who to use and when and placement of cast in dance numbers: well done! Often the choreographer wants to show off their skills beyond the ability of the cast, but it shows true professionalism when the choreographer shows the cast at their best.

Vicki Wilson playing Dorothy Brock certainly used her comedic skills in this role and commanded the stage with her presence and voice. Dorothy Brock was brought to life wonderfully. She had some fabulous costumes, darling!

John Preston as Julian Marsh played the stressed, infamous Director with just the right touch, giving the right edge to the character who was battling with his actors and the money man to put the show on.

Lindsay Farnworth characterised Peggy Sawyer just right with the small town girl wanting to get into showbusiness who actually saves the day. Lindsay also performed some fantastic tap routines.

Joe Davies embraced the part of Bert Barry and I had no idea what he was doing dressed in black with red gloves, not once but twice - it did make me laugh! Great comic delivery.

David Perks as Billy Lawler, Michelle Foster as Annie and Alan Moss as Andy Lee also gave strong character performances.

Tim Power, Musical Director and Assistant Musical Director, Tom Bowes, certainly worked their magic with the cast and band, the harmonies were delightful.

The set worked well and gave the right tone, scene changes were quick, often with scenery changes while the action was happening which kept the flow of the show. Crew dressed appropriately so as to mingle in with the cast, adding to the slickness of the show.

Just to be picky, I didn’t understand why the bride was in bare feet wearing a wedding dress and someone had not had time to put their braces on properly. As this was the first night, let’s not detract from a fabulous show by Walmsley Church Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society. A REAL FEEL GOOD SHOW and one elderly gentleman was dancing in the aisle at the end of the show, the audience were certainly upbeat. Thank you for making my guest and I feel so welcome.

Liz Hume-Dawson
Review 3
Additional

Back to top