The Pied Piper
Monday 2 June 2014
‘Hamelin Town in Hanover City’, sang Eleanor Grant, locating this marvellous fairy tale with her opening solo, sung from the rooftops of a charmingly wonky set. Such confidence, talent and composure from this young performer, who played Toffee Jenkins with tremendous sensitivity. The tranquillity was then destroyed by the rock-‘n’-rolling rats, led by the Elvis-inspired King Rat, Eleanor Burrows. The rats were showstopping in every appearance, with their lively choreography, wonderful physicality and bad (in a good way) attitude. Eleanor’s performance of this lovable rogue was electric and a huge hit with the 260 feeder school children who attended the Wednesday matinee.
Gabby Mazzoni gave a bold, quirky performance in the title role, with a beautiful singing voice and a delightful stage presence, and hammered home the moral message of the piece: never break a promise! Boggle, Goggle, Basher and Smasher were a cracking quartet; a bunch of heavies with superb Cockney accents and truncheon work. Well done to Rachel Hanna, Kim O’Neill, Tomisin Ibikunle and Sophie Dutton.
Act Two burst to life with some rather ill-mannered school children (nothing like our girls here at Q). “How we love our teacher”, they sang to a delightfully elegant Cecily Joseland, beautifully cast as the ever-smiling schoolmistress. Speaking of illmannered, they don’t come ruder than the Saveloy Family: Egbert (Rachel Poppleton), Lady Saveloy (Helena Belt) and Baron Denis Saveloy, Mayor of Hamelin (Alice Baker). This egotistical, objectionable and self-absorbed trio were played with marvellous flair and comic timing.
The leads in this production performed with seemingly effortless professionalism. Smaller ensemble groups such as the Lamplighters and the Town Band were equally endearing. With a sumptuous score composed by Tim Shaw, another awe-inspiring set from Stewart Jordan and Kevin Moore, creative choreography from Miss Lee and such highly polished direction from Miss Finn and Miss Bell, the show has deserved its rapturous applause and high praise. Special mention goes to Ellegrace Ofusu-Bossman and Ella Dutton on follow spots, Emma Poppleton on sound and a superb backstage crew comprising Lydia Partridge, Olivia Garwood, Grace Cornell, Amy Douglas, Elena Gonzalez and Ami Gaskin, who contributed selflessly throughout the week.