A patchy musical mystery

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The Mystery Of Edwin Drood

Hayling Community Centre

The musical version of Dickens’ unfinished novel is an interesting and curious beast.

With Dickens leaving no indication of how he wanted the story to be resolved, the climax of this musical is left to us, the audience.

We get to pick the identities of the murderer, the detective and the love-interest in a series of votes at the end of the show.

Tony Dart’s production for Hayling Musical Society is patchy, due mostly to a lack of certainty over words and movement in the cast.

HMS do, however, have some splendid voices on show.

Charley Rose Lane as Rosa Budd gives the most realistic acting performance and has a good, strong voice. So does Helen Castle as the Princess Puffer.

Oliver Heath (Landless) and James Hooker (Basard) have clear, strong light-baritone voices and Lucy Summers as the eponymous hero is a firecracker.

The company need to focus on their diction; a lot of the words are swamped by the band and swallowed by the cavernous roof.

JAMES GEORGE