Full house for Churchill

Reviewed by SHEENA RAWCLIFFE [email protected]

It was a full house for the World Premiere, first night, of Churchill the Musical.

Aficionados of musicals, of the stage, of the great man himself, and of course friends and supporters of the two writers, Derek Charles Ash and Trevor Holman, travelled from all points across the Algarve to see this much-hyped musical.  Were they disappointed? No.

The story is one that many know, at least in part, and was used to good effect in this stage performance with much emphasis put on Churchill’s usage of the English language and his wit, which was frequently acerbic.

The music fitted the bill beautifully: it was easy on the ear and memorable. And in some instances the music was captivating with such beautifully written pieces as The Best Thing and What Would I do without You?

Jonathan Reynolds (Winston) and Sarah Pryde (Clemmie) were no less than brilliant as was Oliver Lanford who played Winston’s aide, Percy.

These three main characters had to portray their characters over many years and they did this comfortably.

All three had huge voices and the Sound Engineer (Ivo Perpétuo) and Sound Editor (Snoot McHaggis) are to be complimented on managing to contain these voices in a relatively small auditorium.   

With a fine chorus line, Churchill the Musical, was a pleasure to watch and of course there were some memorable performances.

Sue Wilson was wonderful as Doris Chivers, having to spend yet another night in Bethnal Green Underground, whilst the bombing raids continued and Swing Extreme were fantastic in Watch me Dance. But for me the person who excelled was Nigel Barber. Nigel brought to the stage – in various guises – the most captivating commitment to the part whichever costume he was in.

Whilst I appreciate the sentiment in trying to bring something into Churchill the Musical about Anne Frank, I felt this was a scene that could have been left out, as it added nothing to the story.

The clever use of the available stage space and the well crafted scenery, along with excellent lighting, were all important parts of the professionalism of the whole evening.

And so we end on a high note, as indeed did the whole performance with a standing ovation from the theatre goers.

There are still a few tickets available to see the last performance day of Churchill the Musical tonight (Friday). To purchase tickets, please call Melanie on 915 818 483.