Portsmouth Players return to their spiritual home at the Kings this week with the Neil Simon, Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields’ Sixties musical Sweet Charity.
The performance itself is one of highs and lows, both emotionally and from a performance perspective.
There is much good work from Jackie Willis as the eponymous heroine – but what wasted opportunities!
A Players audience knows by now that this woman can dance. So why is she left to, in effect, move aimlessly from side-to-side of the stage in two big numbers – If They Could See Me Now and I’m a Brass Band? Willis can dance; let her!
The choreography is generally uninspiring and sometimes plain messy (I Love To Cry At Weddings) but not in the Rich Man’s Frug in which the cast work some stylish moves. Sadly this doesn’t extend to the show as a whole.
Great work from Wezley Sebastian as Vittorio, but top honours go to Tom Wood as Oscar; a finely-worked, strong characterisation that is rarely less than excellent. The final scene between Wood and Willis is the best bit of the show.
And there’s good support from newcomers Mike Bayliss and Chris Murray and stalwarts Sam Pearce and Helen Wilson.