Epsom Light Opera Company

award winning theatre at the Epsom Playhouse

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2009 howtoweb

Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser.
Book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert.
Based on the novel by Shepherd Mead.

At the Epsom Playhouse
Autumn 2009

Director - Paul Longhurst
Music Director - Brian D Steel
Choreographer - Helen Parker

Cast List

Finch - Ziggy Szafranski
Rosemary - Emma Jones
Smitty - Whitney Jackson
Frump - Lewis Wilmott
Biggley - Ian Lambert
Hedy - Liz Curtin
Bratt - Dil Patel
Twimble - Rick Thomsett
Miss Jones - Kate Palmer
Miss Krumholtz - Julie Parker
Womper - Nic Ash
Voice of Book - Damien De Roche
Gatch - Chris Watkins
Ovington - Paul Featherstone

Chorus

Helen Ash, Geraldine Birch, Colin Bousfield, Heather Congdon, David Don, Paul Featherstone, Wendy Halls, Charlie Hoddell, Janet Holah, Hattie Knight, Lee Power, Chris Rumbold, Geoff Rose-Michael, Diana Springate, Linda Sutch, Chris Watkins, Louise Watkins, Des Wilby, Harry Wilkinson

Dancers

Caron Ireland (Dance Captain), Helen Ash, Charlie Dyer, Emily Evans, Richard Qureshi, Krysza Szafranski

Show photos - click here

Review by Tony Flook - Surrey Mirror

The big question after seeing ELOC's highly successful production of How To Succeed... is, why is Frank Loesser's tuneful, feel-good show so rarely performed?

Certainly the plot does not stand close scrutiny but, hey, this is musical comedy. J Pierrepont Finch, a window cleaner casually strolls into the offices of the giant, amorphous, World Wide Wicket Company (whatever a 'wicket' is) and, after conning his was into a lowly job in the mail room, ends up at the top and also marrying Rosemary, the girl he comes to love.

The entire cast, under Paul Longhurst's exacting direction, brought this flimsy story vibrantly to life.

We seemed to care about Finch as he scrambled up the slippery corporate ladder. Ziggy Szafranski portrayed him as an irrepressible, slightly roguish character, always on the look-out for an opportunity to further his career. He showcased his vocal talents well in I Believe In You (well counterpointed by the male chorus, simultaneously vowing to Stop That Man).

Emma Jones brought warmth and a clear singing voice to Rosemary, who was Happy To Keep His Dinner Warm and when she proudly showed off her Paris Original.

Frump, the man determined to stop Finch at every turn was played by Lewis Wilmott with slight touches of the silent movie villain. His well-judged, creepy performance added the necessary grit to the oyster.

Rick Thomsett, Twimble the mail room manager, broke unexpectedly and tunefully into song when he explained The Company Way.

Whitney Jackson evoked sympathy as the slightly effusive but undoubtedly frumpish Smitty.

It was a pity we did not see more of Kate Palmer as Miss Jones the office ogre, who soon warmed to Finch's charms.

Liz Curtin played Hedy, the ultimate dizzy blonde (and, unsurprisingly, the boss's bit on the side) to the hilt.

The girls in the Yo-Ho-Ho routine brought out the best from Helen Parker's always imaginative choreography.

Ensemble work, perfectly co-ordinated throughout, made a particular impact when the workers yearned for their Coffee Break and, led by Finch, in the foot-tapping Brotherhood of Man.

The small, worn desks in the executives' offices did not reflect their levels of self-importance. Lighting was most effective when unobtrusive and not, as just occasionally, over dramatic.

Musical director Brian D Steel and his orchestra ensured that the audience left with happy memories of an evening of high quality entertainment.


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