Nomination - Best Actress in a Musical (NODA) - Lindsay Farnworth
Nomination - Best Choreography (BATS)
6th - 11th November 2006
Photographs by John Tustin
Production Officials
Director Nora Howcroft
Musical Director Ben Smith
Choreographer Zuleika
Stephen/Tony Forte Christian Brabin
Samantha/Lola Lindsay Farnworth
Gladys Murphy Allison Smith
Sam Silver Mike Taylor
Rico Castelli Mike Fallon
Conchita Alvarez Hazel Bumby
Maitre D' Jane Bickerstaffe
Willie Don Howcroft
Veronica Lake Joyce Walters
Escort Dave McGreavey
Mr Brill David Witt
A Music Publisher Alan Hitchen
Piano accompanist Joyce Walters
Skip Tricia Shorten
Luis Mike Bailey
McManus David Witt
Carlos Mike Bailey
Auditionee Jess Barnett
Show Girls
Sarah Bailey, Jess Barnett, Delaney Brindle, Carole Brooks, Lara Crombie, Karen Evans, Charlotte Fallon, Helen Popplewell, Elizabeth Pycroft, Adele Walsh
Scott Alker, Katie Dobinson, Debbie Eustace, Lucy Finney, Ron Finney, Jill Marsden, Barbara Martin, Zoe Pollitt, Mary Pycroft, Lucy Tyrer, Mathew Windsor, Janet Wright
  • Stephen and the Company Stephen and the Company
  • Tony Forte Tony Forte
  • Samantha with Show Girls Samantha with Show Girls
  • Tony and Company Tony and Company
  • Lola Lola
  • Sam Silver and Gladys Sam Silver and Gladys
  • Tony and Show Girls Tony and Show Girls
  • Lola and Show Girls Lola and Show Girls
  • Tony and Show Girls Tony and Show Girls
  • Rico Castelli and Lola Rico Castelli and Lola
  • Tony and Dancer Tony and Dancer
  • Lola Lola
  • The Company The Company
  • Show Girls Show Girls
  • Lola and the Company Lola and the Company
  • Willie Willie
  • Lola and Tony with the Company Lola and Tony with the Company
  • The Company The Company

  • Bolton Evening News Review
  • NODA North West News Review
Her name was Lola . . . With what is probably one of the best-known opening song lyrics of all time, Walmsley Church Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society high-kicked off Bolton's first presentation of Copacabana.

The plot, somewhat improbable as it is, involves a nightclub, a gangster, a handsome songwriter and, yes, a showgirl. Taking us from the bright lights of New York to the seedy underworld of Havana, Copacabana is a glittering display of fantasy and glamour.

Walmsley's costumes and sets are nothing short of superb, evoking the glitz of the 1940s thanks to some very brave (and possibly very cold!) chorus girls. This is spectacle at its very height.

Allison Smith turns heads as Gladys Murphy, the gobby but kind-hearted cigarette girl that takes the newly arrived Lola under her wing. And Mike Taylor talks the Broadway talk so well he could be a native. But it is Christian Brabin and Lindsay Farnworth who steal the show as Tony and Lola. Together they light up the stage, bringing both romance and drama to the show. Lindsay's Lola is a delight as she turns from naive newcomer to the star of the show. And as the bumbling, pushy, but big-hearted Tony, Christian again proves his merit as a musical performer.

Further support comes from Mike Fallon's sleazy Rico Castelli and Hazel Bumby's Conchita Alvarez, Havana's dangerous power couple. But when the time comes, will Conchita help save her rival Lola? Director Nora Howcroft's love of the show is evident throughout, and for sheer panache, energy and sense of fun, the cast and crew of Copacabana are at the top of their game.

And by the end - which is truly spectacular - the audience found it impossible not to tap and clap along. At this Copacabana you certainly will fall in love.

Kat Dibbits
This was quite a contrast from the society's last production of Sweeney Todd to this all-singing, all-dancing glitz and glamour production by director Nora Howcroft and choreographer Zuleika.

An audience can, of course, be easily beguiled by all the pizzazz as, indeed, can the company, into thinking average performances can be disguised behind all the gloss. Not so in this case. It would be parsimonious in the extreme of the reviewer to pick holes in this production as the holes were very few and very, very far between.

Stephen, the creator of Copa, and his alter ego Tony Forte, was played by Christian Brabin. An excellent display of all disciplines of stagecraft. In the same vein Lindsay Farnworth played the parts of Samantha / Lola-la-Mar. Truly a performance that would withstand any comparison and have graced any stage, any time, any where.

The comedy was in the capable hands of Mike Taylor who was an instant hit as Sam Silver, he of the half mast trousers and wobbly wig as was Allison Smith as the been there, done that, seen it all cigarette girl Gladys Murphy. The malevolent presence of Mike Fallon was exactly right for the gangster Rico Castelli whilst Hazel Bumby played the part of the fading star Conchita Alvarez very well. Minor roles were all well played and accents were realistic and maintained throughout.

The set was bursting with colour and beautifully designed to display the best of the Copa Girls in the set pieces. The Copa Girls' routines were well constructed and executed whilst a large orchestra under the baton of musical director Ben Smith added that final touch to what was an outstanding evening's entertainment.

Glyn Neary

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