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South Staffs Musical Theatre Company have an excellent reputation for putting on terrific shows year upon year, and they certainly do not disappoint with this perfectly timed production of White Christmas.

The story revolves around ex-soldiers Bob Wallace and Phil Davies, who are now successful Broadway stars and producers. When they go and visit their former Commanding Officer General Waverly at his holiday lodge, they realise that he has fallen upon hard times, and they decide to help him out by staging a musical spectacular. They persuade song and dance act Judy and Betty Haynes to join them, and Phil and Judy soon strike up a romance. However, the flames of desire burn a little slower for Bob and Betty, and are not helped along by a misunderstanding of Bob’s motives towards his former CO, which causes Betty to run away in a fit of anger.

Naturally however, everything comes out in the wash, and the show is of course a huge success with everybody ending up with their rightful partner.

I really enjoyed this production – don’t let anyone tell you that ‘amateur’ means no good,  because there is a wealth of talent on display amongst this cast. Simon McGee was ideally cast as Bob Wallace – he had a lovely voice and great stage presence. He was also handsome and charismatic – very necessary when taking on a role originally performed by the legendary Bing Crosby. Luke Renwick was also delightful as the more upbeat Phil Davies, and his dances with Judy, played by the very talented Rebecca Haydon were a joy to watch.

McGee also had great chemistry with Lexie Bennett who took on the role of Betty Haynes, and who had an AMAZING voice. If this young lady doesn’t end up treading the boards in the West End, I will be amazed.

By the end of the show, the entire audience was singing along with Bob Wallace to the famous title song, which was lovely to be a part of. However, for my money, the best part of the show was the wonderful end of Act 1 – the whole cast, led by McGee as Wallace, performing Blue Skies (one of my favourite songs), in an amazing song and tap dance performance, with canes as props. This was worthy of anything you would see in a professional production, and was so brilliantly done that it actually moved me to tears.

Special mention also to Maria Shee as Martha Watson – receptionist and general busybody at General Waverley’s inn – she had a couple of terrific song and dance numbers of her own, and not to forget – she choreographed all the dances in the show.

A simply wonderful show, and the perfect way to get into a festive mood!

 

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