Directed by Rowan Marshall
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Assistant to the Director
Author: Don McKay
There was a very efficient Front of House team lead by RaeAnna and Wolfie Hammerbacker on this night of high competition from the television, which was showing several talent show finals, as well as the “Eurovision Song Contest”, however a good number turned out to see the VAMPS excellent production of “Godspell”. This is one of those shows that can be brilliant if done right, or absolutely terrible if done wrong, and I am pleased to say this was the former. Rowan Marshall and Adam Greaves’ relaxed style of direction was spot on, and the simple set was smoothly managed by John Shadlock. Matthew Watson’s lighting was well designed and operated, as was the sound by Chris Glenton and Nicki Compson. There was an incident in Act 2 that required quick thinking by the cast and even quicker thinking by the sound operator to resolve, and this was accomplished without any interruption, well done to all concerned. “The Band” consisted of Musical Director, Rowan Marshall and Elizabeth Millwood on keyboards, Dave Montgomery-Law and Hadleigh Spicer on guitars, with Ian Worsfold on percussion, and called in at the last minute to deputise, the very competent Matt Heyland on bass. This was a very tight unit, well balanced mixing both rock and ballads with perfect emphasis. For me they also provided the most emotional piece in the whole production, with the inspired decision to allow the actors to react to the situation in Gethsemane, whilst Rowan Marshall and Ian Worsfold harmonised beautifully in accompaniment. The choreography by Rowan Marshall, for such a large cast was wonderfully random with some really good set pieces. Every single member of this cast gave a fantastically energetic performance without exception, but a few stood out for me on the night. Keith Jenkinson’s clarity of voice was a joy, Sarah Milthorp’s power and soul shone through, and the brilliant Sam Waters gave the performance of a lifetime, portraying Jesus as a real man with flaws and weaknesses, but also making him “cool”. This was a superb production and I congratulate the cast and crew for a great performance, but credit must go to Rowan Marshall for taking on such a vast project and managing every element with equal excellence.