The Kissing Dance

All Star Productions present “The Kissing Dance”
at Ye Olde Rose and Crown
10th to 28th February, 2016

Music by Howard Goodall
Book and Lyrics by Charles Hart

Director: Brendan Matthew
Musical Director: Aaron Clingham
Choreographer: Charlotte Tooth
Production Manager: Kat Gagan
Design: Joanna Dias
Lighting Design: Sky Bembury
Casting: Benjamin Newsome
Production Assistant: Angie Lawrence
Producer: Andrew Yon

Review by Richard Lambert (18/2/16)
4 out of 5 Stars
Arriving for the first time at “Ye Olde Rose and Crown” is a delightful experience, a spacious high ceilinged bar with friendly staff.
To access the theatre you go “up a steep and very narrow stairway” – quite apt for a musical!
As Pub Theatre’s go it’s well worth a visit to the delightful theatre that awaits upstairs!

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Highlights of the show for me has got to be the two Company Numbers which open Act 1 and Act 2!
Setting the stage for a thoroughly delightful musical!

With wonderful singing, beautiful songs, energetic choreography, and a cast of 14 with a band of 5 all carrying you away through the evening. A very polished show and congratulations to the cast and the team!
(Well done to Ben Newsome Casting!)

Special mention has to be made for the lead couple (Emily Peach and Robert Metson), perfectly cast and very believable. They never faltered in their roles and backed it up with stirling vocal, acting, strong performance and dance skills.
Nik Chiappetta and Scott Hunter bolstered the ensemble, ensuring this to be a piece of quality theatre.

“The Kissing Dance” number in the 2nd half being truly magical! For me, a showstopper!
I really enjoyed this number and was sorry when it ended!!!

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The Set Design was simple but interesting – full credit for placing the band in a flower bed with grapes and vines draped throughout, including the music stands! The set worked well with the Musical Staging and not once felt cramped or compromised. The choreography was expressive of the lyrics and storyboard. The costumes were period and thoughtful.

The hunt scene with hand held oil lamps is certainly not new (shows such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Clockmaker’s Daughter”) but it never fails to deliver and is fun to watch.

If I had one criticism of the show it would have to be the lighting. What you “do” actors’ faces is really quite important. I’m not a fan of Green light from the Front, Saturated LED Colours from the side, or over-bright white light when it hits faces. Similarly I did occasionally question the colour choices of the LED Pars hitting the band’s faces.
I loved it when the night sky came on with small stars at the back of the set, very pretty, with a soft blue stage, lovely, but I did giggle a little when just one of the star lighting sets started doing its own thing with some colour chasing. Also, one of the Pars with a Scroller had slipped its focus to brightly illuminate the backs of the first 2 rows of audience (leaving a dark spot on stage downstage centre). I did itch to get a ladder out and spend 10 minutes with the rig…….and there were quite a few moments when the lights were brighter in areas that were devoid of actors who were in the dark.
The acting areas had lighting fixtures aimed at them, but the Set was not considered in the lighting design and remained un-lit except for accidental lighting splashes. This was a shame as there were so many opportunities to create some beautiful looks.
But, having said that, the lighting for “The Kissing Dance” number in the 2nd half was just a beautiful tableau that created a lovely memory of the show.

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ALL TICKETTING: Click here

6 x OFFIE Nominations for this production:
Best Female Performance – Kira Morsley
Best Musical Director – Aaron Clingham
Best Choreographer – Charlotte Tooth
Best Director – Brendan Matthew
Best Set Designer – Joana Dias
Best Costume Designer – Joana Dias

Continuing our commitment to producing revivals of rarely produced Musicals, we are proud to announce that our first show of 2016 will be THE KISSING DANCE. This is also our fourth show with music by Howard Goodall having produced the first ever London revival of GIRLFRIENDS in 2011, a new revue of his Musical Theatre works LOVE & WAR in 2012 and DAYS OF HOPE in 2013.

Based on Oliver Goldsmith’s play She Stoops to Conquer, THE KISSING DANCE is a tale of match-making, mischief and misunderstanding, dished out with a good helping of disguise and deceit.

It is All Fools’ Eve, a night when in the realms of love, the world can be turned upside-down and the lord of Misrule can take control….

Mr and Mrs Hardcastle have invited the son of an old friend, Charles Marlow, to their country estate with the intention of pairing him off with their daughter, Kate. Accompanying him is his friend George Hastings, who happens to be the secret beau of Kate’s cousin Constance, who in turn is on an enforced promise to Kate’s half witted half brother Tony Lumpkin. However, the mischievous intervention of Lumpkin results in the pair of visitors thinking the Hardcastle’s estate is actually a country inn, and Mr Hardcastle whom they have never met, is the inn keeper. Mistakes and misunderstandings swiftly ensue.

 

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