Follies colourfully comes to life

FEATHERS, skimpy costumes and sequins mix with the pathos and melancholy of this top notch production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies. The latest show by Ipswich-based theatre group Gallery Players, Follies opens at a reunion.

FEATHERS, skimpy costumes and sequins mix with the pathos and melancholy of this top notch production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies.

The latest show by Ipswich-based theatre group Gallery Players, Follies opens at a reunion.

A group of middle-aged former showgirls are taking a last look at a dilapidated New York theatre once the home to the Weismann Follies - the lavish musical revue that played there between the wars - before it is turned into a car park.

It is also a poignant last look at passed youth and the passage of time.


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This is a quality production interspersed with comedy, some great one-liners, and some excellent performances.

Focusing on two marriages 30 years on as history repeats itself, Sondheim explores themes within the relationships that strike a chord and makes typically cynical conclusions about the institution of marriage.

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Drawing talent from across the amateur theatre scene, director Pat Taplin has carefully cast the show which brings out the best in those taking part.

James Hawyard as Buddy Plummer and Martin Leigh as Ben Stone are both superb.

The hugely talented Stephanie Brown, as Sally Plummer, holds the audience in her grasp. And she makes use of her powerful stage presence in the classic Follies number Losing my Mind.

Shelley Clempson as Phyllis Stone is on top form. Her rendition of Could I Leave You is executed with style and panache.

And Gallery stalwart Margaret Mudd as Stella delighted the capacity audience with her rendition of Who's That Woman?

This is an entertaining evening and a triumph for Gallery Players.

Follies runs at the New Wolsey until Saturday.

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