(Honorary Patron: Vanessa Redgrave CBE)

The Shakespeare Revue

May 2014

The cast
The cast
The Grayshott Stagers are usually found firmly ensconced in the modern era with work not only written, but also usually set, in the second half of the Twentieth Century. Having been tempted back to the theatrical scene of London in the late Eighteenth Century with the highly successful, and indeed award-winning, "A Laughing Matter", they have now plunged themselves into the world of Shakespeare. But this was a far from conventional approach to the Bard, being a compendium of forty-four items ranging from pure Shakespeare via Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, Victoria Wood to Fry & Laurie and Monty Python.

That Shakespearian Rag
That Shakespearian Rag
"The Shakespeare Revue" compiled by Christopher Luscombe and Malcolm McKee tested the Stagers' talent and versatility to the full and, as ever, they were not found wanting. A cast of twelve, ably directed by Brezetta Thonger, delivered what was a hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience.

Shirley Jelliss, Pauline Harries and Jennifer Charters gave sensitive and thoughtful readings of several of the Sonnets while Ian Wilson-Soppitt gave a memorable performance as Richmal Crompton's William, happily misleading an American tourist, played by the vivacious Gloria Simpson. Angie Hilder and Ellis Nicholls were superb in a hilarious combination of Othello and The Importance of Being Earnest. Bernard Whelan and John Hilder displayed their impeccable comic timing, the former outstanding as a rather underwhelmed member of the RSC, the latter giving notes after a rehearsal for what was inevitably to become a total theatrical disaster.

In Shakespeare's Day
In Shakespeare's Day
Laura Musco, as well as choreographing the show, gave a beautiful rendition of the Sondheim setting of 'Fear no More' and Pauleen Dowsett was terrific as a Diva bemoaning the lack of an opera about Cleopatra. In 'Carrying a Torch', Sara Rowe showed what a depth of talent the Stagers can deploy and in an evening of highlights she shone particularly brightly as a Repertory player who had forgotten what day it was - appearing on Juliet's balcony as a magnificently terrifying Lady Macbeth.

Give Us A Rest
Give Us A Rest
Robert Gillman was the Musical Director and provided keyboard accompaniment and the Technical and Front-of-House support was as seamless and efficient as Grayshott audiences have come to expect. This was a show which, more than most, gave the individual cast members opportunities to shine but which ultimately demonstrated that the whole was far more than the sum of its parts.

Ian Page

Copyright © 2014 Ian Page & Tony Legat. Updated: