South Downe Musical Society opened its run of Chess The Musical at Ferneham Hall, Fareham with a slick performance. A well-rehearsed cast successfully presents the much loved story of a chess championship in the midst of the Cold War.
Steve Reading’s portrayal of world chess champion Freddie Trumper is heart-warming and genuine, while Alan Jenkins’ Walter de Courcey is devious and believable. The rest of the cast match these standards and provide an enjoyable performance.
The USSR chess player Anatoly Sergievsky – played by Paul Tully - provides an invaluable insight into his character. His character was realistic and Tully’s Russian accent was strong throughout. Actors playing the rest of the Russian delegation do not attempt the accent, or do so weakly.
Matt Sackman guides the audience through the first act and most of the second act as the Arbiter. Although not what I expected of the character, Sackman brings him alive.
The highly energised cast provide an enjoyable show with interesting and creative staging. Singing and acting are strong throughout.