Since its inception in 1979, the NOWMADS (Nottingham West Music and Drama Society) has made giant strides and its latest offering, a ‘Flash Bang Wallop’ production of Half a Sixpence, was a triumph for director Gillian Williams and her 30-strong cast, writes Peter Jordan.
This classic musical, immortalised by the great Tommy Steele, brought together newlyweds Tom and Rachel Bailey in the principal roles of Arthur Kipps and his childhood sweetheart Ann Pornick.
Tom Bailey was a revelation in the endearing Edwardian love story which is based on the H.G Wells novel Kipps, and followed the trials and tribulations of a draper’s apprentice who mixes with the nobs when he inherits a fortune.
Kipps, who has pledged his love to Ann, a working class girl, by giving her a love token - half a sixpence - finds that money brings him big problems.
He trips over his own ambitions, is dogged with hangers on and falls for a snobbish socialite, before realising the error of his ways. Tom made a big impression and Rachel gives a fine performance in her first principal role.
There was much to admire in NOWMADS sparkling production, Graham Lambert in fine form as the ebullient shop-owner Shelford and Hannah Lishman, Emma Heydon, Kelly Wakefield, Danny De Martino, Jaiden Ragozins and Ashley Smith are terrific as his downtrodden employees.
Carole De Martino brought a touch of the Downton Abbeys to proceedings in her classy role of Lady Walsingham, while Merle Harrison shone as her daughter Helen.
A word of praise for Haydn Taylor who was back to his best as playwright Harry Chitterlow, following his frightening brush with prostate cancer.
Musical director John Wilson and his talented musicians enriched this wonderful show, which features high quality singing, precise dance routines, and individual brilliance.
A stunning Flash Bang Wallop finale number was the crowning glory on a fantastic production that was a credit to all.
Collections made during the shows four performances were made for Prostate Cancer Research.
NOWMADS’ next production is the pantomime Cinderella. For details and early bookings phone 0115 9194322 or 0115 9276189.