Review: Thoroughly Modern Millie

Dinnington Operatic Society dress rehearsal for their upcoming performance of Throughly Modern Millie (w130916-3a)
Dinnington Operatic Society dress rehearsal for their upcoming performance of Throughly Modern Millie (w130916-3a)
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Dinnington Operatic Society’s recent show at the Lyric Theatre must rank among the best they have ever done. This production was truly outstanding.

Dinnington Operatic Society’s recent show at the Lyric Theatre must rank among the best they have ever done. This production was truly outstanding.

Although a long-time performer with DOS this was Ashley Booker’s first time as director and not only did he run with it, he flew.

Nothing prepared me for what I was about to see. If you remember the film, forget it.

The stage production is so much better. It crackles with energy with its tap routines and its wonderful range of songs.

It’s 1922 and Kansas-born Millie arrives in New York hoping to make something of herself, is robbed, left with nothing and has to find work to survive.

Isabel Canning played the part of the feisty Millie who falls in love with Jimmie Smith, played by Nick Clayton.

The professionalism of these two was astounding. Their singing had delicacy combined with strength, control and a remarkable range, especially in Nick’s case as he had to reach some very high notes, which he did with ease.

Laura Wilson made her debut performance with DOS in the role of Millie’s friend, Dorothy.

Karen Osman was Muzzy the high class club singer who was a rich society lady with a clever plan.

John Green was the comical Mr Graydon, Millie’s boss

And Samantha Smedley was perfect as Miss Flannery, the bosom-hoisting typing pool manager.

Louise Selden was the brilliantly wicked Mrs Meers intent on selling off the orphan girls as white slaves.

Memorable scenes included the seated tap-dancing typists on chairs with wheels, the Chinese laundry men singing Mammy in Chinese with subtitles to each side of the stage, and the twenty-floors-up scene with Millie and Jimmie.

With thoughtful casting and brilliant musical direction from Jonathan Wilby this was a show to remember.

The audience stood to applaud and justifiably so as the cast and musicians put in a top performance.

I came away quite stunned. Simply superb.

Wendy Fidoe