Camelot - Lowther Pavilion
Director Lynda Clarkson and the cast of the St. Annes Parish Operatic Society worked very hard to put the magic into Camelot.
The accomplished Stacey Houldsworth sang and acted with quality as an appealing Guinevere. Gavin Tyrrell as Arthur was at his best, with a rich tenor voice, when the score allowed him to sing out rather than talk his songs.
The title number is very strong and the principals made the most of it.
Written by Lerner and Lowe, the musical was an eagerly anticipated Broadway hit in 1960, its lead roles well suited to Richard Burton and Julie Andrews and its sentiments fitting the optimism of the Kennedy era.
Fifty years further on however, in the era of Harry Potter, the story and the balance seem somewhat dated with too much pompous and long-winded dialogue and not enough first-class songs or company numbers for this talented ensemble to tackle.
Andrew Would as Lancelot began the second half excellently with If Ever I Would Leave You and Chris Campbell as Mordred, Paula Curtis as Morgan Le Fey and the young dancers kept up the standard. Peter Hall did his very best to old chap his way through some very lame humour as King Pellinore.
The Society deserves congratulations on a very committed performance of a pleasant but hardly inspired show.
They have the ability to make a success of one of the premier league musicals next time.