All For Your Delight - performed February 1994
By Roger Parsley
Performed with the kind permission of Samuel French
Director - Nigel Lister
Cast(in order of appearance)
Production TeamClare Morris, Jenny Rollings, Bruce Emeny, Maurice Barber, Peggy Barber, Paul Spendley, Gregg Garrad, Alan Laurie, Dennis Murfitt, Rosamund Pettett, Kerry King, Patience Ling, Viv Wheatley, and other volunteers not mentioned.
The MusicalA fun musical involving comic melodrama, an outrageous cohort of policemen, chorus songs, and the bewildered chairman of a turn-of-the-century Music Hall.
ReviewsThere are time when a show, however meticulously prepared and organised, for some inscrutable reason just does not catch fire. Such was the case in this Roger Parsley extravaganza. All the elements were present for seeming success, but it sparked only fitfully and peaked in little spasms of personal contribution.
On the credit side, the costumes were quite magnificent and in the very best tradition of the Music Hall which formed the basic setting and raison d’etre for the proceedings. The tears and fears and behind the greasepaint went some way to fill out the sketchy storyline of the unlikely tripartite love entanglements of the leading lady – only to degenerate into the melodrama which lurked in wait. Patience Ling as musical director wrought miracles of adjustments and adaptation to individual needs with great charm and skill, and some astute lighting also enhanced the various acts.
The massed numbers worked best with Rosemary Lane – the pick of the bunch – opening the second half with much needed
verve and bustle. Among the turns Bill Chapman’s Cyrano De Bergerac proboscis attack; Brenda Chapman’s Oh ever so Sad,
and above all, Kerry King’s Oh! What’ll I do? Carried projection and presence both rather muted and undersold elsewhere.
The three ladies with ‘their backs to the wall’ had exactly the idea!
Bruce Emeny and Chris Mason fairly wrung humour out of age-old, worn-out comedy routines and split their partnership
irrevocably in the process to add a ouch of pathos. The returning Dennis Murfitt was clearly much more at home as a
stand-up comic than a toned-down chairman and master of ceremonies.
The mind-reading act badly needed more dramatic build up to justify the required silence.
But the motley mixed gender posse of police in their brainless foray drew energy from each other to rouse a strangely
unresponsive but ultimately appreciative audience from its torpor.
Another night things may well have been different
It’s two for the price of one with the Manifest Theatre Group’s latest production. All For Your Delight is set in a theatre and as well as the actual story, the audience is treated to all the delights of a music hall show. There are singers and comics and surprisingly, a telepathy act. The full house is hushed during this period as everyone waits to see if Linda Gatt, in the guise of Primrose Ramport, successfully pulls if off, as indeed she does. The audience in fact take an active role in the whole production, being invited to cheer the hero and boo the villain, although which is which does not become clear until almost the end.
The cast descends into the auditorium from time to time, all adding to the general fun and mayhem.
it’s all kept together by the music hall MC Dennis Murfitt, making a welcome return after an absence of several seasons.
The action of the play by Roger Parsley, who also wrote the music and lyrics, is on stage and backstage of a
late 19th century music hall and Manningtree-based amateurs again show just what can be achieved with limited space.
Under the direction of Nigel Lister and the musical direction of Patience Ling, the result is another spectacular success.
The flamboyant clothes, the comical touches – particularly from a group of policemen whose like has never been seen in
the nearby New Road Station – and changing names to those of local places and people, all give that extra sparkle.
Photo ShootIf you have any photos from this production, then please let us know.
Some suspicious characters!