Theatre Review: Thoroughly Modern Millie

PUBLISHED: 10:00 13 October 2016

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Archant

It started life as a British musical before being turned into an American film which in turn became a Broadway show - but no matter how confusing its past Thoroughly Modern Millie is a very amusing show.

And Harpenden Light Operatic Society’s production last week was a credit to all those taking part.

It was full of good singing and acting together with excellent dance routines and a first class band of musicians to support them.

With the sort of complex story line which is all too common in musical shows, working out just what is happening can sometimes be a little difficult but then in this show the music is a delight.

It makes more than a passing reference to Gilbert and Sullivan and also touches on Tchaikovsky as well as other composers and musical shows in a delightful and witty way.

But the strength of this production lay in those taking part.

In her first show with the Harpenden society Katy Jane Meehan was a first class Millie. As well as a strong singing voice she gave an exuberant performance.

Equally good were James Russell as Jimmy, the ultimate hero, and Sarah Johnson as Miss Dorothy together with Anna MacDonald as the hotelkeeper and white slaver Mrs Meers, Tom Handley as Mr Graydon, Millie’s boss, and Jackie Pulford as Muzzie

Stephen Hathaway and Brian Carroll had the most difficult jobs in the show as the two Chinese stooges, Ching Ho and Bun Foo, for their entire dialogue and music was performed in Mandarin. I’m not sure how good it was but it sounded impressive.

Director and choreographer Claire Stanley made first class use of Harpenden Public Hall’s relatively small stage and musical director Mike Payne together with his relatively large pit orchestra produced some excellent music.

In all this was a very successful show for everyone concerned.

JOHN MANNING

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