Director – Neil Silcock
Musical Sipervisor – Craig Price
Musical Director – Jonathan Clayton
Choreographer – Kriss Hubbard
Production Manager – Aaron Cawley
Lighting Designer - Neil Hampson
Stage Manager – John Bonney
Sound – Liam Kent
Wardrobe Co-ordinators – Lindsay Watkinson / Kate Jones
Wigs – Carmel Middleton
Props Co-ordinator – John Brocklehurst
Programme Design – Michael J Scott
Marketing – Rachel Kirkbride / Chris Doyle
Front of House – Alison Ball / Gemma Lawless
Keyboard – Jonathan Clayton
Guitar – Mike Ciaputa
Bass – Kev Bates
Drums – Ste Jones
Roddy - Anthony Farrell
Terry - Chris Doyle
Dean - Aaron Cawley
Eamon - Mike Kelsall
Spencer - K Lopez
Debs - Nicola Holland
Trish - Emma Humphreys
Lorraine - Rachel Kirkbride
Baz the Bouncer – Joe Youds
Cinema Manager -Roy Youds
Mandy - Jude Kenyon
Laura Hobley - Dance Captain
Performed at the Brindley Arts Centre & Theatre, Runcorn, Cheshire on the 8th - 12st March 2016
Written by Jon Conway
Script association by Shane Richie & Terry Morrison
By arrangement with Josef Weinburger.
Directed by Neil Silcock, Musical Direction by Jonathan Clayton and Choreographed by Kriss Hubbard.
Boogie Nights is a 70’s musical and tells the heart-warming story of Roddy O’Neil and his girlfriend Debs, their friends, their lives, loves and experience of growing up in the disco decade. Full of great disco classics, flairs, flamboyant platforms and fashion you only wished you’d forgotten, this musical covers a wide range of emotions with a twist in the tail.
Having seen Neil Silcock’s attention to detail and quality acting on stage, I was excited to see how he would go about directing this 70’s Disco Musical and I wasn’t disappointed. The dialogue had great pace and comic timing and the simple details such as the old woman in the cinema scene, the Chopper and Chipper bikes for Roddy and Terry and the stained costume for Eamon completed what was a fun and exciting show.
Right from the moment you entered the theatre to an open stage set as the disco you felt like you were in the disco itself. The floor was being cleaned, the bar setup and the DJ getting his records ready. Members of the cast in costume were engaging with the audience giving the effect that they had gone back in time with great comments such as “Can I check your bag I have seen you smuggling drinks in here before”, something we all have done back in the day.
A great little comedy moment was between the barman and the cleaner both who start dancing to the records being played in an otherwise empty disco when they suddenly realise that they are being watched by the audience entering.
In a “compilation musical” as this is, it is sometimes difficult to get the relationships right between the characters but these came across extremely well within the couples of Roddy and Debs, Trish and Terry and Spencer and Lorraine
Anthony Farrell as Roddy had a strong voice and his acting style suited the cool character he played. His comic timing and his engaging nature built up a good rapport with the audience. I also found his more emotional scenes with his father Eamon, played by Mike Kelsall very moving. Roddy had a great rapport with both his girlfriend Debs and Terry his best mate.
Mike Kelsall was excellent as Elvis loving dad Eamon with his badly stained vest and long johns, harsh temper but a heart of gold. The audience really loved both his more comic moments and also his heart break over the loss of Elvis.
Debs (Nicola Holland) played this difficult part well giving great performances of the musical numbers and coping with the more emotional moments with great feeling. A real audience pleaser was Chris Doyle as Terry whose clowning around was laugh out loud funny again his relationship with Trish (Emma Humphreys) worked well and both had good singing voices Spencer (Kortez Lopez) the lead singer in the band and Lorraine (Rachel Kirkbride) his girlfriend and singer both gave good performances with excellent singing voices belting out some of the best songs from the 70’s. DJ Dean (Aaron Cawley) wasn’t in a spin over this part and played it to the full showing a real caring and loving attitude towards Debs.
There were good performances throughout from a lively and enthusiastic cast, wearing great costumes with some incredibly high platforms. This talented company hammed it up all they could, they all oozed fun from every pore and the audience caught the bug making for a party atmosphere.
The ensemble musical numbers showed how well the society had been drilled to produce a well-balanced sound. The excellent work of Musical Supervisor (Craig Price) and Musical Director (Jonathan Clayton) were matched by the choreography (Kriss Hubbard) with dance moves in keeping with the 70’s styling. It was great to see all members of the cast taking part and not just being left to the set of dancers.
An excellent evening’s entertainment from start to finish. Everyone coped well with a very loud and outspoken audience that was worse than many pantomimes on a Saturday matinee. It’s great to see a Society bringing to life the Directors vision so well and the obvious enjoyment of every one on stage was translated directly to the audience. Well done all.
Thanks for the hospitality on the night and I look forward to seeing you all again
Reviewed by: Barry Dilworth - NODA North West
This amateur performance by members of Zodiac, a Cheshire based amateur musical theatre society (ZAOS) is set in the 70’s disco days and tells the story of Roddy O’Neil, the local lothario, superbly played by Anthony Farrell growing up in a world of ridiculous fashion,(did we really wear clothes like that?) The music and hits which are now iconic, the loves and lives of family and friends the hopes and dreams of the young. Before the musical even starts you know it’s going to be fun as you take your seats and on stage are a few members of the cast, on the set of a disco, with a bartender, DJ and the cleaner mopping the floors not forgetting the bouncer wandering around the audience, the audacity of wanting to search my handbag! And throwing in some comic moments.
The opening scenes are based in the disco and a wedding reception is taking place, perfect timing for a rendition of’ ’Celebration ‘featuring the whole cast. It is obvious that a lot of hard work has gone into the dancing as it is performed effortlessly and energetically and is credited to choreographer Kriss Hubbard’s belief in each member and has certainly paid off with his first time with this show. Roddy’s girlfriend Debs, (Nicola Holland), is pregnant and is fearful of his reaction. The story tells of her attempts to tell him, her friends and his friends’ reactions and the eventual outcome. Interspersed with scenes of home life and the cinema with simple but effective sets and 70’s props with a genuine chopper bike, you can’t help but be taken back to that decade. Whilst a vocal talent may not have been everyone’s strongest point it simply did not matter…..
The acting and dancing and portrayal of their characters took over. Casting of Rachel Kirkbride as Lorraine, the clubs singer, was probably the wisest move as she did have the best vocal range. I loved the classic ‘Sugar Baby Love ‘ song scene at the local flea pit, hilariously acted out by Chris Doyle as Terry, who gives a brilliant performance for the whole musical with his futile attempts of seducing Trish (Emma Humphreys) who also gave a creditable performance. Little touches such as the theme from Jaws being played bring back memories.
Our DJ of the Boogie Nights Disco, Dean (Aaron Cawley) acts the part out well as does Spencer (Kortez Lopez) Lorraine’s boyfriend/manager. Loved the ‘Shaft’ moments. Eamon, (Mike Kelsall) Roddy’s father is a big Elvis fan and heavy drinker but can certainly hold a note and his Elvis’s ‘Always on my mind’ was plausible. He gave a brilliant performance with comedy and sadness and a parent’s frustrations and difficulties with their offspring. Featuring the entire cast on several occasions with hits of Kung Fu Fighting, Happy Days a version of YMCA or was that CYMA? and of course Boogie Nights to name a few, the audience is singing along and there is a general feel good atmosphere in the theatre.
The main characters of the night are Debs and Roddy who both acted and sang their hearts out with their performances. Farrell has an exceptional likeable personality and inter connects with the audience from the start, definitely one to watch out for in the future. Mastering the balancing on the platform shoes and boots and on top of that be expected to dance in them cannot have been an easy challenge but there was not a single stumble so well done to you all. The costumes and wigs brought back memories, I really did have a wardrobe consisting of those outrageous outfits! My husband wondered where the shoes were obtained from and worryingly says he misses his platforms. May the 70’s fashion never return is all I can say! But the music will live on forever.
Set at the back of the stage, the four afro wig clad band members should not be forgotten for their musical talents this evening. Shame we didn’t get to see you at the end as you were obscured by the smoke! I thoroughly enjoyed Boogie Nights and it is a credit to the dedication of the cast and production team of Zodiac and I cannot wait for their return with the musical Hot Flush in October.
Reviewed by: Lorna Weekes - North West End on 8th March click here for link