Review: Hats off to HATS as the show did go on and how!

Entertainment / Sat 6th Nov 2021 at 05:46pm

Harlow Playhouse: Friday November 5th, 2021

HARLOW Amateur Theatre Society had not long been set up when Covid came along.

You could tell that the company was determined to get back on the stage but we wondered what the reaction from the cast was when it was suggested that they cover fifty years of musicals that had taken place at the Harlow Playhouse between 1971 and 2021.

All in under two hours!

Audience-goers were treated to a feast of theatre classics.

For a number of reasons, that wasn’t easy to do.

They were in the small studio theatre. There was only sixteen of them and they had a limited budget.

But this was a wonderful production where the good old values of great singing and acting stood firm.

Each number was very different and had a feel all of their own.

Some were faithful versions such as Luck Be A Lady from Guys and Dolls.

Some were faithful and brave (Sweet Transvestite from Rocky Horror). Well done to James Bentley in that…costume.

There was the sweet, simple and yet timeless “Over the Rainbow” showing what one spotlight and a lovely singer (Grace Dell)can do.

One thing this reviewer couldn’t get enough of was the female singers harmonies. When they came to the fore in sings, they really stood out.

Any Dream Will Do was subtle but distinct.

Part One finished with a great version of Seasons of Love from Rent. It really highlighted what a together theatre company this was.

Whichever number they did, they got the tone right. That was no easy feat as again, space and time was limited. Performers would exit one door and a few seconds alter, come out another door and into another song.

The performances had a personal touch: My Boy was very special as was an outstanding As Long As He Needs Me. What a singer Mitchell Walsh is.

The Jersey Boys had great energy, So Long Farewell was great fun whilst others were so well choreographed. The Witches comes to mind as very well executed.

The Grease finale was very energetic and was enhanced by a great turn by Marc, who many know from Bridget’s Tea Room. What a great touch.

This was a marvellous two hours in Theatre 2. Well done to director Michelle Fisher and the whole creative team.

The audience loved it and really showed their appreciation.

We look forward to Big Fish in 2022.

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3 Comments for Review: Hats off to HATS as the show did go on and how!:

Claire Dell
2021-11-07 11:03:59

It has been a pleasure getting to know the directors and cast of HATS as I have been on endless mums cabs runs to and from rehersals, chaperoning and watching the shows. Very entertaining, professional, fun and evidences weeks of hard work.Thanks for the mention of my daughter who sang over the rainbow, she almost burst when she read that and her friends, family and I are so proud of her. At 13 she was the youngest cast member and fully nutured and supported by everyone.

Sandra Rose
2021-11-07 11:19:08

I thought the show was marvellous. I know I am prejudiced because Grace Dell is my Granddaughter, but her version of "Over the Rainbow" was pitch perfect, and she is the youngest by far of the group. Despite the relationship, I would be hard to please, being such a fan of the Judy Garland version. But I was delighted with Grace Dell's version. Plus it needs to be remembered that JG was actually 17 when she sang it, and she was meant to be 12. I also really loved the interpretation of "As Long as He Needs Me - the young man is a wonderful singer and actor. Congratulations to the whole cast, especially the plucky men who dressed up for "The Rocky Horror Show" section!

Lauren Dell
2021-11-07 13:44:03

Absolutely loved the show! I had the chance to watch it twice and loved both times! Me and my friend went on the first night and she loved it so much. I really enjoyed the last night where I was able to be a chaperone to grace and see what it was like backstage as well! It was an experience for her that I’ll never forget. Well done to all of the amazing cast everyone did amazing x

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