"Feel the Rhythm of Life"
by Margaret Morley for remotegoat on 01/03/13

Cy Coleman is the composer of the song,"The Rhythm of Life" and many more of the well known songs from the musical, "Sweet Charity". The performance of this song totally transported one to the 1960s in Cygnet's production. About thirty cast members were on stage in hippy/flower power costumes. The repertoire also included, "If my friends could see me now" and "Big Spender".
I recall the excellent musical theatre training which I completed at Mountview Theatre School in 1998, which involved high quality teaching of acting, singing and dance, and this standard was evident in this production. The director in this instance is Stuart Burrows and the musical director is Matt Ramplin.
Charity Hope Valentine is played by Sabi Perez. Sabi went the extra mile and exuded enthusiasm, vigour and great technical ability. However the script describes the character as being 128lbs. Although challenging things like the hair colour of the actors and actresses compared to the original film worked out well and in fact complimented it.
The costumes were amazing and supplied by Stageworld Ltd of Wolverhampton. Each young lady in the night club scene wore a different coloured short dress and some were glitzy. The choreography (by Nicole Rush) was engaging and varied, with for example the young ladies in the night club all in different poses along the bar.
One thinks that many may have missed out on this excellent extravaganza for two reasons. Firstly because of the advertising flyer, which although is relevant is computer generated and a still from the actual show would have drawn in a much larger gathering. There are also no still photos of the actual show, even in the programme, maybe there is a reason for this, but it is a shame as the performance was highly visual. Also the theatre at the London Oratory School is not that well known, but does in fact have excellent facilities. There was even a live orchestra there, comprising about nine people. By foot it is about a ten minute walk from the main road, but this was well worth the effort.
In addition to the delightful cast, the production is magnificent and there is a good appropriate set in the background including even a bridge, but the small things also made a tremendous impact. The "CONGRATULATIONS" sign at a celebration party was hand-made, with each letter being individually written on a separate piece of paper, as opposed to one's that can be just bought in shops and also the audience were given tissue papered flowers. Attention to detail was also evidenced in the programme, this included a flowered bordered edge on some of the pages and also a musical numbers break down as well as a scene breakdown.
The whole show was based on an interesting story line regarding the fortune and adventures of Sweet Charity and indeed the show is worthy of the West End.


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