The St Jude’s Players under director MAX RAYNER have crafted a version of “Man of La Mancha” that has vigour, charm and a dash of gallantry. The stage set is redolent of the Inquisition with its dungeon like atmosphere and medieval ramparts and drawbridge. A well realised space for the enactment of the uncompleted manuscript of the adventures of “Don Quixote.”
GRAHAM LOVEDAY is a mellifluous Don Quixote and starts the performance with a strong rendition of “Man of La Mancha” together with WADE SHIELL as his buffoon manservant Sancho Panza.
BILLIE TURNER maintains an impressive performance throughout as Aldonza. Her vocal range does justice to “It’s All The Same” and “What Do You Want of Me?”.
MARIA DAVIS, TOM FRASER, and BRONWYN CALVETT combine beautifully with “I’m Only Thinking of Him.”
All the ensemble work is attacked positively and tunefully due do doubt to the coaching of musical director PAT WILSON.
The opening night audience was wowed by GRAHAM LOVEDAY’S delivery of “The Impossible Dream”, the song everyone had come to hear- and he nailed it!
Of the rest of the large cast, ROB JONES was a strong and imposing Innkeeper and TOM FRASER displayed a natural feel for performing as the Padre.
The entire ensemble of actors and musicians can be proud of the result of their combined energy and ingenuity in scenes like the famous attack on the windmills.
There was a first night issue or two with continuity in the second act and pace needs to be maintained throughout.
A more reliable adhesive for Don Quixote’s goatee is advised!