That morning after feeling was still hard to shake off on Monday morning, despite it being the ‘morning after of the morning after’, if you know what I mean. Confused? Then let me explain.
The second staging of Bowler Hat Theatre Company’s ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’ drew to a close at Garter Lane on Saturday night, once again playing to sold out audiences.
Over four superbly supported nights (with waiting lists for tickets on both Friday and Saturday), this production, as hilarious as it was poignant, was an absolute pleasure to be a part of.
As one of the show’s four on-stage performers (delightedly sharing stage space with Vicki Graham, Gabrielle Cummins and Tobie Hickey), this was a truly great musical experience, one that will happily live long in the memory.
There are certain productions which stay with you; your stage debut carrying great resonance for most board treaders out there.
And, as one gains a little more experience and a few additional lines thanks to a trusting director, some shows tend to stand out above others in the acting mind’s eye.
Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ was a thunderously epic production, a great piece of theatre that just so happened to be a musical, packed with great performances and terrific visuals.
I can state without any reservation that ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’ now happily sits alongside ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ as my favourite and most satisfying on-stage experience.
Given the material at our disposal, the superbly judged direction offered by Andrew Holden, Damien O’Brien’s ever-accommodating musical direction and a well-drilled and co-operative backstage crew, we were onto a winner from the off.
The ‘sold-out’ sign at Garter Lane and the gracious compliments thrown our way in the theatre foyer post-show offered the proof of that particular pudding.
Given that things have become so tight for so many people in recent months, that so many punters, some returning for a second look too, parted with cash to watch the show was enormously gratifying. One hopes we gave everyone good bang for their buck.
Sharing the stage with three actors of such abundant talent was a privilege. Gabrielle Cummins, who returned to acting action after a four-year hiatus (she’s been busy running Beat 102-103 for much of the interim!), beautifully demonstrated the range of her acting prowess.
Her rendition of ‘Always a Bridesmaid’, as she laments walking down the aisle “just as much as Liz Taylor”, drew deserved deep laughter, one of several sequences she nailed every night.
Vicki Graham, who somehow packed the ‘Grease’ revival in a few weeks back despite our pre-show preparations, is justly lauded as one of the best performers in a sphere that extends well beyond regional musical theatre.
During her second act monologue, ‘The Very First Dating Video of Rose Ritz’, Vicki held 160 audience members in the palm of her hand, delivering a performance that both tickled the funny bone and touched the soul.
Tobie Hickey had the audience in stitches thanks to a range of hilarious characters; his role as ‘tough-love’ prisoner Kevin Trentell almost sending a front row occupant during Friday’s show into hyperventilation!
Tobie and Gabrielle proved a wonderful double act as Arthur and Muriel in ‘Funerals Are For Dating’, my favourite sequence of the entire production which I enjoyed taking in from my backstage perch.
This production was a joy to be involved in from start to finish and I had a ball during both the original run and last week’s re-staging.
To those not named here who helped make the show possible, many, many thanks for all the help, encouragement and kind words of recent weeks. It was a blast!