Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

Review: The MGM Story, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, February 5

PUBLISHED: 11:17 07 February 2017

The MGM Stiory at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

The MGM Stiory at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

photo© Danilo Moroni

There are show tunes galore in this wonderfully entertaining show, a love letter to the musicals made at MGM, the most glamorous of all the studios during Hollywood’s Golden Age.

The MGM Stiory at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich The MGM Stiory at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

The story of the MGM musical is part of the history of American Cinema and an art form itself. The show has a huge tale to tell and writer, Chris Burgess pieces it together well, focusing on the career of Judy Garland and the producer Arthur Freed who discovered her and whose unit was behind many of her greatest films as well as classics like Singin’ in the Rain and Gigi. Judy Garland’s inclusion is fitting as her own rise and decline mirrors the fortune of the types of movies she made as well as the darker side of Hollywood.

The three performers on stage, James Leece, Miranda Wilford and Steven Dalziel sing and dance and narrate the story with energy showcasing not only their many talents but the trio also bring a genuine warmth, humour and a real passion for the story, clearly shared by the full house at the New Wolsey.

Emily Bestow’s set and costume design is clever and thoughtful. The set has a ‘back stage ‘ in rehearsal feel with running rails of costumes, boxes of props. Ladders and tables on wheels provide seamless movement between the numbers. The cast is joined on stage by the musicians that accompany them, creating a chemistry between them all that in itself is reminiscent of the plots of some of musicals they describe. Uniformly dressed in beige costumes from the era, the sepia tones here add to the warm nostalgic feeling of this show.

We are treated to about 30 songs, some wonderful tap dancing and the anecdotes are fascinating creating a strong narrative that places the musicals in its many contexts. The cast’s recreation of Good Morning from Singin’ In the Rain was fabulous as was the clever use of the sad “By Myself” from Band Wagon given to ‘Arthur Freed’ himself to sing at the end of his era. It was a great moment where the two worlds met and was fitting and poignant end to the story.

The MGM Stiory at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich The MGM Stiory at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Jackie Montague

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Did your favourite show make the list?

Not many seven-year-old girls can say they feature in their very own music video.

Have you ever wished that you were born early enough to have been part of Bobby Robson’s FA Cup winning side in May 1978? Well you don’t have to jump aboard the TARDIS or fall through a wormhole in time, you can just audition to take part in a new dance-led reconstruction of Ipswich Town’s history-making victory at Wembley.

Movies that tell a good story and have engaging characters provide that all-important re-watch value necessary for a great film. Arts editor Andrew Clarke presents a series of idiosyncratic suggestions for movies which may entertain if you are in the mood for something different.

From Richard Attenborough’s excellent Young Winston (1972) to Jonathan Teplitzky’s Churchill (2017), Winston Churchill has been the subject of countless historical dramas and biopics that have dealt with various stages of the near-mythical figure’s life.

The BBC and Netflix are teaming up to bring us a big-budget drama about the Trojan War and the love affair between Paris and Helen later this year - but let’s get excited about it RIGHT NOW. Wooden horses! Battles! Omens! Sandals without socks!

For a river just over 25 miles long the Deben packs a mighty punch in terms of tranquil beauty, ever changing scenery and astonishing history.

The new BT ‘Moments’ advertisement shows a mother being video-called on the bus by her husband who wants her to see their baby’s first steps. Couldn’t he have waited so they could have watched her together? Does EVERYTHING need to be immediate?

Sinatra anointed him his heir. He’s released 70 albums, won Grammys and even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Now Jack Jones is visiting the region as part of a tour celebrating turning 80 this weekend.

The line-up for this year’s Aldeburgh Festival has been announced, including the introduction of new £10 tickets for every performance.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24