Reviews

publication/writer text
Extracts from Geoff Lake : Glamorgan Drama League Moderator's report

Production: All the appraisers liked the choice of "Nell’s Belles". Production was excellent giving all involved a chance to demonstrate a variety of skills as well as character development and a range of emotions. One appraiser felt that the group picked a challenging production "…because it was bawdy by nature you have to hit the right tone to make it work." All the appraisers felt that this was achieved. This production needed pace and enthusiasm and the appraisers were pleased with the levels of both in this production.

Presentation: The ‘thrust staging’ area was very innovative and would have worked much better if audiences had been less conservative, sitting only in the tiered seats and not around the ‘thrust’ area, depriving the actors of working a ‘wrap-around audience’ ...

The scene changes worked well. The Char Ladies worked well both as scene changers and interlocutors between scenes. All the appraisers thought the costumes were good and added a great deal to the feel of the production.

Lighting was generally good with one appraiser enjoying the psychedelic effects.

Music was well produced with just the right sound level "…not too intrusive and considerate of the players."

Props were generally good and well used.

Performances:
Nell
(Melissa Moore): All the appraisers greatly enjoyed this performance. Melissa was confident and clear throughout. She has a lovely singing voice and good delivery ... Overall an excellent performance. Well done.
Agatha (Naomi Wright): Relaxed into the part as the play progressed. Sang and acted well.
Mercy (Katie Murphy) : A good performance.
Annie and Bess (Sarah Way and Amy Way): Some delightful moments with these two ... Nice singing and dancing. An enjoyable performance by both. Rose (Katie Peek) : A good supporting performance, looked and sounded right. She worked well with the other Belles.
Violet (Claire Batchelor): All appraisers thought this was a very good performance with believable characterisation "…played with skill and confidence". Well done.
King Charles II (David Sheehan): All the appraisers were delighted with this performance ... A good strong voice and delivery, good comedy timing and stage presence as well as working well with the other actors, particularly with Nell, made this a highly enjoyable and excellent performance.
Queen Catherine (Hannah Murphy): Timing, costume, movement, voice all added up to an excellent performance.
James, Tom Farrinor, Doctor (Sam Jones) ... (Sam) certainly gave his all, giving us a most irritating James, loud and cheeky! Good performance.
Charladies: ... they all worked well as the link between scenes and established a good connection with the audience.
The cast worked well as a team and especially nice to see was the enjoyment that every member had being on stage, "The cast demonstrated great enthusiasm for the production and the audience responded with their own".

All the numbers were performed well but appraisers were particularly fond of the swimming scene "… imaginative and much fun to watch".

All the appraisers enjoyed the performance very much and had a good fun evening. So thank you Unknown Theatre for giving us a good time.


Awards

given by

to whom

for what

Glamorgan Drama League David Sheehan as King Charles Glammies Award for Best Actor in a Youth Musical
Glamorgan Drama League the company Glammies Best Youth Production Award
Glamorgan Drama League the company nominations also for Best Youth Presentation, also Best Actress nominations for Melissa Moore and Hannah Murphy


And more...    

The writer, Kjartan Poskitt, told us that to his knowledge, the parts of the twins, Annie and Bess, had never before been played by identical twins.  Another first for The Unknown Theatre Company!

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About the show  
Dates 23 - 26 February 2005
Venue Howardian Centre, Cardiff
Director Lon David
Choreographer Marcus Anthony Thomas
Musical director Ben Davies
Producer Jane Donoghue
Special facts Over 100 separate costumes were worn in this production.  Most of them were made specially for the show, and were sewed by Geraldine Roberts, who is both the mother of one of the cast and a Committee member.  The show also benefitted from having a dedicated designer on board:  Alex Jones, who joined us from the Welsh College of Music and Drama.  Company member, Marc Thomas choreographed for the first time, to great success.

Photos from the show

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The unknown Theatre Company
Cardiff's leading musical youth theatre /young people's theatre group

 

Nell's Belles

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Updated
21 February 2016

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