THE sign I have watched a good musical theatre show is how long I have the songs from the performance spinning around in my head.
Ashbeian Musical Theatre Group’s spring production of Me and My Girl will no doubt have me trilling the tunes way into the weekend – yes it was that good!
I mean, what isn’t there to like about a Noel Gay and Douglas Furber score, coupled with Stephen Fry penning the 1986 revival? Absolutely nothing – and the Ashbeian Musical Theatre Group brought the show to life at Repton’s 400 Hall Theatre with whit, charm and professional finesse.
And without a flat note throughout – trust me, this 50-strong cast can certainly belt a tune out.
The show revolves around an unapologetically unrefined cockney gentleman named Bill Snibson who learns that he is the 14th heir to the Earl of Hareford.
However, he will only receive his inheritance if his Aunt the Duchess and her confidante Sir John approve of him. The Duchess feels that with a little grooming, Bill will be suitable to inherit the title – and the money.
However, she insists that Bill break up with his cockney girlfriend, Sally Smith. Bill refuses to accept the title if cannot keep Sally as his girl.
Eventually, thanks to Sir John (and a reference to Henry Higgins) Sally is groomed to become more lady-like. Thus, Bill is allowed to inherit the title and keep his girl.
The show is packed with a catchy score including many familiar tunes such as Me and My Girl, Leaning on a Lampost, The Sun Has Got His Hat On and the foot-stomping, handclapping – The Lambeth Walk!
With such a large cast I tip my hat at David McKnight (Producer and Director) and Leanne O’Brien (Choreographer) for placing so many people in the right position at the right time. The comic timing is spot on throughout and a special mention must go to Bill wrestling with the tiger skin rug, and Lady Evadne Tring’s hilarious antics.
From beginning to end the show is witty, charming and has so much ‘feel good’ factor that it should be dished out on the NHS. Here’s to the next show from the Ashbeian Musical Theatre Group – I personally cannot wait!
Caroline Kay, Burton Mail