Hello Dolly! marks operatic society director’s final farewell to the stage

Jemma Puri as Dolly

Jemma Puri as Dolly - Credit: Archant

Director and choreographer Mike Monk will be saying Hello Dolly! when Radlett Light Opera Society (RLOS) performs the show next week.

But in actual fact the production at the Radlett Centre from November 17 to 21 is Mike’s swansong - and a very apt one.

He explained: “This show for me will be a very emotional experience as Hello Dolly! was the very first musical I performed in when joining ‘Am Dram’ down at Margate Operatic when I was 16.

“Thus I thought it very appropriate to retire after the very same show - coming full circle so to speak.”

Hello Dolly! centres around the matchmaking exploits of Dolly Levi, née Gallagher (played by Jemma Puri) who, as well as arranging matches for her clients, has her eye set on someone in particular herself.

RLOS Chair Sarah Buttler said: “We are always aware that our local audience in Radlett is a stone’s throw away from West End Theatre and that means we have to work very hard to entertain those who come to support us. Amateur doesn’t mean forgotten lines, dodgy sets and handmade costumes.”

She added: “In fact, our costumes for Hello, Dolly! are being hired from the costumiers who supplied the touring production starring Anita Dobson. Local musical theatre really is thriving in Radlett and we would love people to give us a try - it’s cheaper but just as entertaining as the West End.”

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Tickets for Hello Dolly! are available from the Radlett Centre box office on 01923 859291.