I feel the need to start this review with a rant, although the reason for it has absolutely nothing to do with the company but sadly everything to do with certain inconsiderate members of the audience, one of whom was unfortunately sitting at our table during this otherwise very enjoyable evening. There wasn’t a single one of the 24 numbers that we heard without the accompaniment of this person’s voice as she continually made loud comments to the people sitting either side of her, until in desperation my husband eventually said ‘sshh’. Not only did she continue talking, but at the end of the evening she accused him of being rude. What a sad reflection of our times that some people think it is perfectly acceptable to talk throughout a show or concert without the slightest attempt to lower their voices. Sorry madam, it wasn’t my husband who was being rude by asking you to be quiet but you yourself, showing absolutely no consideration for the performers or the people within earshot as you chatted away, presumably oblivious to the fact that you were spoiling things for the rest of us.
Inconsiderate people and first half malfunctioning microphones aside, this concert proved that even a group still calling itself a light opera company can turn its hand to other things. With numerous costume changes, super lighting effects, nifty choreography and some great voices, not to mention a well-decorated auditorium with colour-changing lights on each table, the scene was set for a slick, enjoyable evening.
I hadn’t really registered what the content would be, so vaguely assumed it would be songs representing the musicals performed by the company over the years. I was wrong, and what we got was 60 years of pop culture, starting in the 50s (when BBLOC began) with Bill Haley’s Rock Around The Clock and ending in the 2000s with Skyfall and Happy.
My love of pop music pretty much began and ended in the 60s so I was very much taken with that section, not least Cilla Black’s Anyone Who Had A Heart, beautifully sung by Sally Wheeler, and The Beatles’ If I Fell (Ian Metcalfe and John Gerken). The 70s brought us ABBA, among other things, before we moved into the 80s and a number that was one of the highlights of the evening – Baggy Trousers (Madness), headlined in great style by John Gerken. I also loved Man in the Mirror and Only You in this section, as I did the 90s Reach and Olivia Ling’s beautiful solo, I Have Nothing. And whilst I was never a Spice Girls fan, Sally, Mary, Jenny, Annie and Debbie made a great job of Stop.
If you missed it tonight, the concert is being repeated next Saturday, 28th, at the Shelley Theatre in Boscombe.