Yesterday I went to see Croft House Theatre Company’s production of the classic musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The musical tells the story of Adam and his brothers and the lengths that they’ll go to get wives. The plot is simple and predictable but still good fun and the songs written by Gene de Paul and Johnny Mercer, as well as Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn are great to listen to.
Claire Harriott directed and choreographed the production expertly and cleverly, with effective use of the theatre’s boxes as well as the stage. She utilised the huge cast very well and her choreography was mindblowing, particularly the numbers involving the brothers. It was quite possibly the best choreography I’ve seen in any production, amateur or professional.
Croft House had assembled a remarkably strong cast for this production. Andrew Stansall (Singin’ In The Rain, The Wiz) as Benjamin, Josh Holliday (Grease, Sister Act) as Caleb and Adam Walker (West Side Story, Rock of Ages) as Frank were all very strong. There was an outstanding rapport between all the brothers. A special mention has to go to Matt Bevan (Fame, Boogie Nights) and Dan Romano (West Side Story) as Daniel and Ephraim, who had an exceptional rapport and fab stage presence.
Grace Hallam (Crazy For You, Me and My Girl) took on the leading role of Milly Bradon. Her acting was very strong, portraying this strong independent woman before her time. Her vocals were beautiful and at times, very powerful. Richard Carlin (Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate) was the leading man, Adam Pontipee. His vocals were phenomenal and his acting performance was strong. You could easily have seen him in a West End theatre.
For me, the strongest performance of the show came from Elliot Goodhill (West Side Story) as Gideon. His acting was impeccable and incredibly believable, his outstanding dance skills were shown off fully and his vocals were unique yet truly stunning. His on stage chemistry with Juliet Ibberson (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) as Alice was so believable and very heartwarming.
This musical is a great light hearted piece of entertainment and is definitely suitable for all ages to go and enjoy. If you get the chance to see this classic musical, it is definitely worthwhile.
Croft House Theatre Company’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers closed on Saturday 24th March but they return to the Lyceum stage in March 2019 with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous musical Cats.