Thoughts: It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon. A big tick for the ‘someone’ who had the insight to build the Festival Theatre on the Green. How Sunday and how English…and i think i was the youngest there and believe me, that’s saying something.
It’s hard to imagine that this musical, The Music Man and West Side Story were of approx the same year. Music Man feels and looks old fashioned in comparison. Having said that, this is a very nice production, slick and well cratfed. I did not know the score….so a friend enlightened me prior to our visit with his version of Seventy – Six Trombones…. mmm next
About: ‘Professor’ Harold Hill cons parents into believing he can rescue their kids from small town life and offer them a sense of adventure through his new life changing music programme; The think system, He takes their money for instruments, uniforms and promises to form a brass band. He then disappears with all the money, only to move to the next and town with the same promise before his fraud is questioned and low and behold a spinster librarian falls in love with the smooth talking Harold and he is left to choose between taking flight again or staying with her and facing the consequences. What should he do? (Do you sense a touch of sarcasm)
Worth it? Yes. The score is complicated and clever and rattles along like a freight train… the direction is slick and well thought out by Rachel Kavanaugh and the cast is strong… It’s old fashioned but you’d be hard pressed to find a better production and it works because it’s Chichester, near the sea, on a sunday, on the Green… forget a transfer to London, tour it along the South and Kent coast and count the money.