Tag Archive: Thoroughly Modern Millie


This show is personal to me because less than 12 months ago, I performed in Thoroughly Modern Millie with my own local theatre company. So how did the professionals measure up?

Well, the first thing to note was looking at the programme, I saw one of the Chinese duo was being played by someone from Hong Kong. Now having spent six months learning lines in Mandarin, I reckon that was cheating.

I jest. The show was great. Straight from the off we had vibrant energy and good fun.

Thoroughly Modern Millie – New Alexander Theatre – 13 February 2017

Playing the part of Millie Dillmount was Strictly Come Dancing’s, Joanne Clifton. What can I say? Well performed with good vocals and fantastic dance. Nothing, though, that I wouldn’t expect from one who had just partnered the winner in the recent series.

The other billed star was soap actress, Michelle Collins, who played the villainess, Mrs Meers. Now I do actually like Ms Collins, but I wasn’t particularly wowed on this occasion. There was a lack of character and not enough differentiation between the American accent (which wasn’t convincing to start with) and the fake Chinese. It seems a regular downside for me, seeing the big name stars not living up to the hype. She was still good, but not up there with others in the show, particularly Katherine Glover as Miss Dorothy,

There was excellent direction and choreography on the night, but I’d anticipated this when learning Racky Plews was at the helm. This is the third Plews outing for me in a year and all have been of a high standard. Amazing for me, also, was how good a sound was produced by only having a seven-piece band under the direction of Rob Wicks. Overseeing everything was Executive Producer, David King.

Also on stage for the tour are: Sam Barrett (Jimmy Smith), Jenny Fitzpatrick (Muzzy Van Hossmere), Damian Buhagiar (Ching Ho), Andy Yau (Bun Foo), Catherine Mort (Miss Flannery) and Graham MacDuff (Trevor Graydon III). The latter stole a good part of Act Two and it’s amazing how a drunk scene can do this.

It’s hard to pick a stand out number as I am so familiar with all of them. Therefore, I’ll simply say, Gimme Gimme, Speed Test, Forget About the Boy, and all the rest were top quality, too.

Couple of niggles. No Mamma appearance at the end, and Muqin could have been more OTT.

Still, a great night out, and plenty of goosebumps reliving my own experience of last May. So did the pros do it justice? Certainly, in my opinion.

 

Cheers.

 

Nick

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Over the past couple of years I’ve tasted a variety of musical theatre companies and looked forward to Throroughly Modern Millie at The Core Theatre, Solihull. I’d not seen anything by St Alphege Musical Productions Society (STAMPS) before, so didn’t know what to expect.

Thoroughly Modern Millie – The Core Theatre, Solihull – 5 November 2016

So how were they? Well, the beginning was low key and failed to grab my interest. It needed to be spectacular, but wasn’t. Then came a further disappointment in the characterisation of Ching Ho and Bun Foo. These guys are a comic duo, but hardly raised a laugh, not to mention some of the pronunciation being a bit dodgy. However, the subtitles worked well.

On the plus side, Becky Willetts as Millie gave a good performance and both Miss Dorothy, played by Lucy Clarke and Trevor Graydon (Kris Evans) were excellent. Also, the character of Jimmy Smith played by Jack Walsh was likewise good, but I would expect nothing less from a former student of BOA.

Now I do know the show well and will say, it wasn’t bad, it just didn’t wow me. Good, but not dynamic, and I found concentration waning towards the end of Act One, which is criminal as Millie is funny and engaging. This was illustrated by the fact that on the night, I heard little more than general applause much of the time.

Stand out songs for me were Speed Test and Falling in Love. We also had good choreography in some numbers, but little in others, particularly Muquin. There were also lost opportunities for jokes. For instance, failing to capitalise on the George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue gag.

Also giving good performances on the night were Fran Foster (Muzzy Van Hossmere), Rosie Asher (Mrs Meers) and Kim Bradshaw (Miss Flannery).

Musical direction came from Phil Ypres-Smith with Viv Morrison as director and choreographer.

A decent enough offering, but a lost opportunity after what must have been many months hard work.

Cheers.

Nick

It’s showtime again and Aldridge Musical Comedy Society (AMCS) are taking us back to the 1920s with their production of Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Cannock. Now approaching 50 years as a society, AMCS are known for quality shows and this is one of the best.

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Thoroughly Modern Millie is an energetic musical which will have you singing (and tapping) in your seats. The year is 1922 and Millie Dillmount arrives in New York, a place filled with frisky flappers, dashing men and a dragon lady of a villainess the audience is sure to love to hate. Loosely based on the 1967 film of the same name, Thoroughly Modern Millie first opened on Broadway in 2002. Featuring songs such as Gimme Gimme, Forget About the Boy and Not For the Life of Me, the show won six Tony Awards at the time, including Best Musical.

Determined to experience the rip-roaring twenties, Millie sets out to test the modern ideas she’s read about back home in Kansas. The goal is to pursue her dreams of becoming thoroughly modern by marrying for money instead of love. She first meets, and is immediately attracted to, the poor, but fun loving, Jimmy. Despite this, she goes to work for pompous, Trevor Graydon with every intention of marrying him instead. When not typing up a storm at the Sincere Trust Insurance Company, Millie also parties with her fellow residents of the Hotel Priscilla, a house for aspiring actresses which also hides a sinister secret.

Thoroughly Modern Millie is the perfect musical for the whole family, appealing to all ages. It stars Chloe Hancox as Millie, Danny Teigte as Jimmy, Hattie Sketchley-Bates as Miss Dorothy, Mark Nicholls as Trevor Graydon, Kerry Flint as Mrs Meers and Linda Bloxham as Muzzy Van Hossmere. Producing is Andy Poulton with musical direction from Mark Baylis and choreography by Sarah Hemming.

Do come along and share in this magnificent experience. A show filled with charm, comedy and romance, plus a little intrigue. Great acting, fantastic voices, excellent dance and a fifteen piece orchestra. What more could you wish for?

So beat the drums ’cause here comes Thoroughly Modern Millie … Now!

Staged Thursday 19, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 May 2016 (1930 start). Tickets can be obtained from the box office on 01543 578762 or direct from AMCS (01543 480626 and 07932 688485).

£13/Adult, £10/Concessions and £7/Under 16s.

Cheers.

Nick

Yearning for a trip to the theatre? Can’t wait to see Mary Poppins on stage? Well Step in Time as memories of Broadway and the West End hit the region this month.

Musical Memories - Aldridge Musical Comedy Society

A spectacular concert of song and dance, Musical Memories is the latest offering from the awesome Aldridge Musical Comedy Society (AMCS). For almost 50 years, AMCS have been delivering quality productions, and this is no exception.

Numbers draw from a variety of shows with something for everyone. If it’s classics you’re after, you will not be disappointed with segments from Cats, Les Miserables, West Side Story, Miss Saigon and Evita. Then there are more contemporary with songs from Spamalot, Avenue Q, Sister Act, All Shook Up and The Little Mermaid. Plus, huge pieces hailing from Wicked, Jekyll and Hyde, Chess, Little Shop of Horrors and many more including a teaser for AMCS’ Spring 2016 production, Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Performed Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 November 2015 at the Rugeley Rose Theatre, Rugely, tickets can be obtained from the AMCS box office on 01543 480626 with full details on websites – www.aldridgemcs.co.uk or www.musicalmemoriesshow.com.

Don’t miss out on this magnificent experience.

£12/adult, £10/Concessions and £6/Under 16s.

You can follow AMCS on Facebook for news of current and future productions.

facebook.com/aldridgemcs

Cheers.

Nick

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