Springers at the Civic Theatre
Oh what fun we had … a moment of pure Madness in the closing minutes of the last night, as the triumphant cast jumped down to join the cheering crowd in the aisles of the Civic Theatre, all dancing to the umpteenth reprise of the title number.
Barry Miles' production is cheeky and lively from the off, with a huge cast throwing themselves into this song-and-dance story of a Camden lad whose double life makes a powerful morality play. The choreography, by Melissa Smart, is quirky and inventive: the stop motion street scene, the Vegas wedding, the fan dancers, the skipping-rope, the Berkeley brollies, and, most talked of over interval drinks, those dancing desks and daring lifts.
Jon Newman played good Joe and bad Joe – a virtuoso performance as he flipped between the straight and narrow and the primrose path. Nicola Myers was his movingly loyal girl Sarah, with two excellent duets in the second act. A huge cast changed costume and character in a twinkling – funeral to wedding – and brought a raucous enthusiasm to these iconic numbers.
Strong character support from Colin Shoard as the Dad from Above, and wonderful comic double acts from Ian [Frank Spencer] Pavelin and Aaron Crowe as Joe's gormless mates, and Sophie Lines and Natalie Hills as the heartless girls.
The dialogue is not always convincing, the lyrics even less so, but the story and the music carry the show – Ian Myers' classy pit band had the audience waving and clapping along about eight bars in …