Charity’s account is bursting at the seams with credit - The Leamington Observer

Charity’s account is bursting at the seams with credit

GOOD  things, they say, come in small packages and rarely can the compact dimensions of the Talisman’s stage have been crammed with so much fun, so much to admire and so much downright quality as it is in this irresistible musical.

As a show Sweet Charity has a lot going for it. Memorable numbers, instantly accessible characters and, above all, a script which bursts with comedy that hasn’t aged and lines that sit perfectly between bold statements and gentle self-parody.

In the hands of director Stephen Duckham and an excellent cast and chorus the pace never drops and the stand-out scenes just keep coming one after another.

Terrific contributions in the principal roles lead the way. Sue Randall as Charity is fabulous throughout, the songs and the comedy so well-judged and the timing immaculate. It’s a great part of course, but hard work and unflagging concentration make sure it’s a memorable performance.

Excellent support comes from two very different men in her chaotic life. Angelo Cardone embodies confident charm as the Latin movie star while Kevin Wing’s nerdy-then-winning Oscar is perfectly pitched and tremendous fun.

Chiara Castania and Louise Woodward as Charity’s sidekicks-in-chief nearly steal the show when the opportunity arises, thanks in part to Jane Hodgkiss’s imaginative and very sixties choreography.

There are a hatful of top-class cameo performances and a starring turn from a very busy chorus. All the musical numbers shine and the work put in to balance the sound is rewarded with crisply audible lyrics from start to finish.

A word of praise must go to the Talisman’s support team. The costumes ooze sixties colour, the design is eye-catching and slickly-manhandled and the abundant props add those little touches that make the whole thing classy.

Overflowing with style and pizzazz, this hugely entertaining production punches way above its weight. There are, of course, people who are not card-carrying fans of musical theatre but even they would have to give this ten out of ten without any hint of charity at all.



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