Thursday, 25 May 2017

REVIEW: Sweet Charity at Newcastle College


The Rhythm Of Life Hits Newcastle

Sweet Charity
Newcastle College Peter Sarah Theatre
Until Saturday 27th May 2017

Playwright: Neil Simon
Lyricist: Dorothy Fields
Composer: Cy Coleman

The 1960’s musical about the dancehall hostess who struggles to find Mr Right hit the right note. Just like last year’s production Into The Woods, the Newcastle College musical theatre students presented a passionate and energetic show.

Charity Hope Valentine (Raynor Garside) has trouble in love. She is effectively robbed by the lad she is seeing. Charlie (Brandon Hadwin) has no plans to leave his wife and runs off with Charity’s money. Charity returns to her day job alongside the likes of Nickie (Grace Davison) and Helene (Katie Brace), her confidents at the Fandango Ballroom. Their boss Herman (Cal Plant) is only interested in the money the girls make but there appears to be no end to the dead-end job.

Things look up when she falls over the film star Vittorio Vidal (Cal Plant) arguing with his mistress Ursula (Beth Clarke) and he decides to take Charity into his lavish private club.

For this show to work Charity and her future partner Oscar (Stephen Robson) have to have an on-stage connection and the pair achieve this. Raynor is clearly a skilled and confident singer, Stephen has a natural comic timing which made his character very charming.

Charity’s work mates had the right level of bitchiness and support. Grace and Katie also did well in Baby, Dream Your Dream.

This ensemble piece relied on a strong cast of Fandango Girls and Ensemble dancers.  Director and choreographer Carly Woodhouse has done a fabulous job and the big dance routines were really well constructed.

The lighting design by Elliot Nelson did a fine job to highlight the action. However the sound on this opening night needed some adjustment as it struggled to cope with the stronger singing voices leading to some unfortunate distortion. Sometimes more volume is not always the best solution.

This show represents the final show at Newcastle College for a number of the students and they deserve every success in the future. They have talent and enthusiasm in something that they are clearly passionate with and we wish them all every success for the future.

Sweet Charity was a fun show, performed by talented students with real energy.

Review by Stephen Oliver

The show will be performed at 1:30 and 7pm on both Friday 26th and Saturday 27th May 2017. Tickets cost £8 (£5 conc). They can be obtained online from


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