Skip to main content

Blitz! by the Northampton Musical Theatre Company at the Cripps Hall Theatre, Northampton

I came to Blitz! with zero knowledge of both the musical itself and the amateur group Northampton Musical Theatre Company performing it. It is safe to say that I left after almost three hours pleasantly surprised by both.

My live musical theatre viewing had amounted to just two previous, both in the last couple of months and I had been surprised how much I had enjoyed them, despite trepidation at the outset. Likewise my only previous example of an amateur theatre group had been of the Masque Theatre and they had been very good and set a high bar for NMTC to jump over.

I have to say, they cleared the bar with sufficient ease, with a quite stunning, polished and enjoyable show. The production was quite simply excellent with hardly a duff note to be heard. I think I would be fair to say that their also wasn't a duff performance amongst them. A few stuck out as being simply excellent, like Susie Pack (nee Lamb) as the loud and brazen Elsie, complete with eye popping swift dress off performance. Keith Loynes was also wonderful as the comical Ernie.

Also impressive as the lovers Georgie Locke and Carol Blitztein were Ian Stark and Lillian Thorn. However although I keep doing it (and I suppose I must), I do hate singling out performers as this was a cast performance of great quality and for an amateur one, a wonderful commitment from all involved to get it to this standard.

The unfamiliar songs were tremendously well performed. Leave It To The Ladies a delight on the ear and eyes. Mums And Dads wonderful by the highly talented young stars {they got the biggest reaction of the night from the audience).

My pick of the songs though has to be Be What You Wanna Be, a great tune, and most entertainingly and professionally staged with the pause and move action of the main cast, and excellently sung by Becky Woodham (Mrs Blitztein). This one song summed the whole up for me, an absolute delight.

Music was supperbly performed from their orchestra pit and the staging was also solid and professional on the obvious lack of budgeting that must come with an amateur production. Likewise the front of house organisation was of the highest quality, with drinks, raffle and display in abundance.

All in all the whole evening was of the utmost quality from arrival to departure and without doubt I shall be at the Royal & Derngate in October/November when their production of South Pacific hits the stage. Just wonderful and well done to ALL involved. I believe a roll-call is required:

Blitz! has now finished, however you can find details of the Northampton Musical Theatre Company at their website:, which will also provide details of their next show South Pacific, to be staged in October/November 2014.


  1. Thanks for the write-up - glad you enjoyed it!
    Can we put this onto our (NMTC's) website?

    1. Hello Pete. You are welcome to put it up on your website.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Shrek the Musical at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

When Shrek the Musical rolls into town, it arrives in seven great big lorries, and this actually says a little as to where the strength of this production, now well into its UK tour, lies. This show looks spectacular in every way, it might be the best looking and the biggest tour show you will have ever seen. However, at times, this spectacle feels a little superficial, as you feel more thought could have been put into the original writing.

Shrek the Musical mostly follows the story of the original 2001 computer-animated film, which sees ogre Shrek's swamp overrun by fairytale folk, which results in him confronting the evil Lord Farquaad, which then results in him going to rescue Princess Fiona, as you do.

What feels missing though in this musical (book by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Jeanine Tesori), compared with the film, is the clever balance for children and adults alike. This nearly always feels targeted more at adults, there is a lack of humour that feels just right fo…

Review of Glorious! from White Cobra Productions at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

I don't mind admitting that I am a huge fan of the work of White Cobra Productions, they have the ability to draw together the best of what the local amateur world has to offer and package it together in a professional way, they also have a knack for picking plays of quality, rarely performed or brand new material that makes them a breath of fresh air. Well mostly. I don't mind also admitting once again here, that their last show, Hi-de-Hi, felt a terrible misstep on their part, taking a show which was either so enrooted in the minds of some of its audience to single performers of the past, or a bamboozled collection of dated material to others, just didn't really work despite the talent and obvious effort of its cast. So, what of Glorious!, is this a, ahem, glorious return to form?
Short answer, incredibly so, long answer, below.
Glorious! (subtitled The Worst Singer in the World) tells the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, an American socialite, active in the early …

Review of A Bunch Of Amateurs at Stantonbury Theatre, Milton Keynes

I first saw the film of A Bunch of Amateurs a couple of years ago back when I was purely a watcher of amateurs productions, rather than my now, slightly more involved persona. Therefore watching this production by Etc Theatre of this curious tale of country folk, adapted for the stage by two of the original writers Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, and their amateur dramatics world, offers a little more intrigue than that film first did. It also helped that I was seated with a bevy of knowing amateur dramatics folks as well.

Stratford Players are in trouble, their venue is under threat from developers, so, in a last-ditch attempt to save their group, they send appeals out to the big names of the acting world to help generate lifesaving interest. Answering their appeal is the also in trouble, Hollywood actor Jefferson Steel (Bart Gamber). His flagging career sees him accept the opportunity to perform King Lear, in the home of the Bard itself, Stratford. Sadly it turns out to be a barn theat…