CELEBRATING 125 YEARS IN MUSICAL THEATRE

WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND

BY ANDREW LLOYD-WEBBER

 

MITCHELL ARTS CENTRE, STOKE-ON-TRENT

16TH - 20TH OCTOBER, 2012

 

SYNOPSIS

Taking place in a small village in America's deep South, a devoutly religious 15-year-old girl, Cathy, discovers a mysterious, injured man hiding in her family’s barn. When she asks his identity, the first words he utters are 'Jesus Christ'. Believing the man is in fact the real Jesus Christ, Cathy and the town's other children vow to protect the stranger from the outside world. Meanwhile, the adults are on the hunt for an escaped murderer.

REVIEW

FOR many, Whistle Down The Wind is synonymous with the 1961 film which told how a group of children mistakenly think an escaped prisoner is Jesus Christ.

For his musical Andrew Lloyd Webber thought it would be more convincing if the setting was Bible-belt Louisiana rather than rural northern England.

So North Staffs Operatic Society must transport us to the Deep South of America and this they do most successfully.

Crucial to its success are the roles of the three children who discover 'The Man' in their barn and in Lydia Hall (Swallow), Emilia Bradon (Brat) and Samuel Horton (Poor Baby) the society is very fortunate for all play their parts very well. Lydia in particular captures the emotional turmoil of her character, using her considerable vocal skills to great effect.

"The Man" is a complex character – to the children he is Jesus but in reality he is an escaped killer. He also has some very difficult singing to do and Gareth Ridge copes very well.

All the principals sing their roles very well and I particularly liked Dean Lockett and Sasha Tandman as Amos and Candy who acted and sang most convincingly.

Good though principals may be no show is complete without a good chorus. In this show there are in effect two – the children and the adults and both are excellent.

I enjoyed the show – and you will too if you abandon the TV and support local talent.

FEATURED CAST

Minister Andrew Bourne

Edward Mark Cooper

Sheriff Ian Birkin

Boone Rob Lawton

Snake Preacher Tony O’rourke

Man Gareth Ridge

Amos Dean Lockett

Earl Max Birkin

Poor Baby Samuel Horton

Winston Samuel Wright

 

 

© North Staffs Operatic Society Limited. C/O 41 Ramage Grove, Lightwood, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST3 4QZ

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CELEBRATING 125 YEARS IN MUSICAL THEATRE

CELEBRATING 125 YEARS IN MUSICAL THEATRE