I am beginning to love the Grand at Wolverhampton. After experiencing some of the London theatres, this is rather small in comparison but this gives it a most wonderful cosy atmosphere. It is almost like being in a very opulent, grand, front room which really adds to the experience for me.
I had never seen the Witches of Eastwick film or read the book (John Updike), so the content was new to me, although I did know it had an 18 certificate. Here my knowledge ended.
For those of you that like me hadn’t got a gist of the story line, the scene is a small New England town, Eastwick where everyone knows everyone…and it seems everything about everyone.
The tale features three ladies one with musical talent, one with artistic talent and another with literary talent who are all divorcees. Not altogether surprising then, that I had an instant empathy with Alexandra as played by Ria Jones.
As the ladies all get together on a stormy night and make a wish, you just know that they are about to conjure somebody that will rock this town and it's inhabitants.
Even so, I was so unprepared for the entrance of Darryl Van Horne (played by Marti Pellow). He just oozed his way around the members of the town with delicious decadence, targeting the ladies of course!
As always in a small town, you have the “upstanding” member of the community who sits on every committee, in this case Felicia Gabriel who was played delightfully by Rachel Izen. She was simply wonderful as the town “battleaxe” and I loved her beautifully tailored orange woollen suit with matching orange shoes which was all just sumptuously right.
As you would then expect, Darryl proceeded to entice the three ladies beneath his spell!
I was actually quite glad at one point that the theatre was dark because I confess that I was blushing here and there…
I don’t think that other ladies were too fazed, in fact I think there were some calls for “ more” but, if you are of a Victorian mindset, you would be best taking along your smelling salts !
Darryl oozes charm and sexuality and I have to say, the theatre is filled with his presence. I was not altogether too surprised, Marti always did have a look about him that captured people throughout time and in this production you get the full force of it.
It was funny, witty and great entertainment. There was tremendous energy in some of the amazing dance routines and I was in awe of the sheer stamina of the contributors.
The set was kept fairly simple but worked very well. One particular scene that stands out in my mind were the “witches” flying and singing, there were fantastically bright lights and smoke. I really did want to photograph the set for you all, it looked so magical.
My favourite dance routine just had to be the scene in the diner where Darryl was teaching Michael to dance. Michael was played by Chris Thatcher and I always think it takes incredible skill to portray klutz to graceful (and in this case sexy) in a short period of time.
It would be difficult to choose a favourite musical piece, although the final piece, “Look at me” would be somewhere at the top.
Unsurprisingly there were a lot of ladies in attendance at this show. I understand that it will be moving to Scotland shortly, if you get the chance, go and see it. It is “One hell of a musical”!