Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society

My Fair Lady (May 2009) 

What a fantastic week we had with  My Fair Lady at the Cromer  Pier  Pavilion Theatre.  Blessed with enthusiastic and appreciative audiences, it proved to be a hugely successful week. Our opening gala night culminated in a £500 donation to Big C, our chosen charity for this year's show, which was generously boosted by donations from our first night audience as they left the theatre and a further collection at our final performance swelled the Big C coffers further, resulting in a final total of £1046. A very positive response was received from our audiences throughout the week with fantastic feedback from those who saw the show. Director Chrissie Robertson can feel justly proud of what was achieved, and Choreographer Carole Weeds is to be congratulated for her fantastic choreography. Not forgetting our fabulous orchestra led by MD Geoff Davidson. Behind the scenes, our small but vital band of scenery makers and painters did us proud with a fabulous set and a huge thank you to them, as without their talent and time, we wouldn't have a show. Then of course there's the lighting, costumes, programmes etc etc. It's a real team effort!  Here's what the papers said.......... 

Richard Batson - Eastern Daily Press/EDP24 website 25th May 2009

By George! I think they've got it right. This classic show is bursting with big singalong songs, sizzling dialogue, a pair of strong leading characters and some stage-filling tableau scenes. It could be a daunting challenge for an "am dram" company but, as ever, Cromer and Sheringham Amateur Operatic and Dramatic rises to it with a sumptuous annual musical.

The 'ubs, sorry, hubs, of the action are the Professor Henry Higgins, a haughty academic of the spoken word, and Eliza Doolittle, the cockney flower girl he plucks from the streets, where she "croons like a bilious pigeon" and whom he seeks to transform into a a well-spoken, Edwardian lady. Peter Howell last did the professor role 20 years ago, but cannot have done it better than this - a masterful performance milking every linguistic nuance, delivering songs with a rich voice, but also capturing the frailties behind a bluff, bullying facade.

On the opening night, he even managed a moment of skateboarding as, in mid song, he jumped on a castor-footed chaise longue which moved - and did not miss a note. That 'ardly, hever, 'appens.

Katie Woodhouse is also outstanding as she makes the Jade to Joanna Lumley journey, with a soaring singing voice but also the ability to let the feisty flower girl burst through the fine frocks when rain in Spain encounters a passing cockney cloud.

Andrew Payne, as her dustman dad, brings the thumbs-in-lapels, knees-up energy and fun to the proceedings, particularly the Get Me To The Church routine.

At times there are more than 40 people on the stage, but it is never a muddle thanks to the crisp choreography from Carole Weeds and slick direction by Chrissie Robertson.

This stunning show is helped by some elegant costumes, strong supporting roles too numerous to mention, and a large orchestra under the direction of Geoff Davidson that does credit to the delicoius score.The audience may not have danced all night, but they were humming the songs all the way home.Luvverly.