Just when it seemed that the Kimberley-based NOWMADS (Nottingham West Music and Drama Society) had reached a peak with a run of sparkling productions, out of the top drawer comes another amazing show, writes Peter Jordan.
The group’s latest offering to packed audiences at the Kimberley School Theatre (running until Saturday, October 31) was a brilliant interpretation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic Carousel which earned standing ovations each night.
An appeal in the Eastwood and Kimberley Advertiser for new performers paid handsome dividends and in new leading lady Laura Collins NOWMADS have unearthed a real diamond.
Laura’s stage debut for NOWMADS, after responding to the appeal, landed her the demanding role of Julie Jordan and in a remarkable success story the residential care worker showed immense quality in a part that was made to measure.
Directed by Graham Lambert, this wonderful tear-jerking musical classic was given the full treatment by NOWMADS’ cast of just 24 performers with Daniel De Martino a tower of strength as Billy Bigelow, Tom Bailey in the part of the menacing Jigger Craigin, and Hannah Lishman, who played Carrie Pipperidge, sharing the accolades with Laura Collins.
From its exhilarating opening aboard a fairground carousel to its fabulous poignant finale and a stirring rendition of the immortal You’ll Never Walk Alone, this show stopping musical, set in the 1870s in America’s New England and first performed on Broadway in 1945 was another winner for the NOWMADS team.
Carousel was enriched with a wonderful score of music and songs that included Mr Snow, If I Loved You, June is Bustin’ Out All Over ,the rousing Blow High, Blow Low and You’ll Never Walk Alone, played to perfection by a talented orchestra conducted by John Wilson.
Carole De Martino as Carousel owner Mrs.Mullin, Alison Reeves impressive as Nettie Fowler and Jayden Ragozins well cast as Mr.Snow, shone in supporting roles while other show newcomers Ellie Hibbert, Phillipa Taylor, Jo Needham and Evelyn Skellett, who also responded to the newspaper appeal, made sparkling contributions.
The return to the stage of NOWMAD’S leading light Martin Belcher playing the Starkeeper following a serious illness was another boost for this immensely successful theatre group.
Fabulous costumes, stirring choreography led by Merle Harrison and Jane Clarke, impressive stage artistry by Sue Campbell and great teamwork by the stage crew and the technical team contributed to the success of an amateur production that was professional in every way.
Those who haven’t taken the opportunity to see the NOWMADS should do so and the next production its annual pantomime Mother Goose,will provide the perfect opportunity for families to see the show which is being performed from Wednesday, February 17, to Saturday, February 20.
To book tickets or for more information and further details contact the box office on 0115 9194322 or 0115 9276189.
Photo by Peter Jordan