It always astounds me that there is so much theatrical talent in Alnwick and the surrounding areas.
And Alnwick Stage Musical Society’s (ASMS) production of My Fair Lady doesn’t let us down.
The show is so popular because of the society’s reputation, that despite being on stage at Alnwick Playhouse until Saturday it is already completely sold out.
And those who are going to see it (and who already have) are in for a night (or afternoon) of pure and epic entertainment.
With a stunning set of costumes and actors akin to those in professional productions, My Fair Lady is simply sensational.
The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phoneticist, so that she may pass as a lady as part of a bet with Colonel Pickering.
Leonie Dial takes the role of leading lady Eliza and she is superb – an outstanding actress who wouldn’t be out of place on a West End stage.
Her portrayal of the common cockney flower girl, who “ain’d done nothing wrong”, was perfect.
And that voice, it blew me away. She perfected the cockney twang in Wouldn’t It Be Loverly, and she transforms into ‘a lady’ with grace and elegance.
She really is the star of the show.
But Mark Stenton, who plays Alfred Doolittle, Eliza’s father, is a close second.
Taking on his debut principal role this year, he plays the role of the cockney jack the lad who is always in it for himself, effortlessly. The scene in which he sings Get Me To The Church On Time is one of my favourites. With the chorus playing dustbin lids and the spoons, it is full of fun and laughter and had me foot-tapping along.
And long-term society member Anthony Stoker is also fantastic as Professor Higgins, who in the end falls in love with Eliza.
Susannah Clapcot, a newcomer this year, takes on the role of Mrs Pearce brilliantly. Norman Luke is also fantastic as the eccentric Zoitan Karpathy, while Stuart Archer is formidable as Colonel Pickering.
This production takes you through the emotions, but ultimately it is full of fun and love and every single member of the cast and crew – from those who move around the set to the principal actors and each and every one in between – should be congratulated for such a superb show.
And none of it would be happening without director Kathryn Curry and, of course, the amazing band under Peter Brown’s direction.
I can see some more awards coming to ASMS in the very near future.