David Kenworthy and Michael Butterfield’s exhilarating production of the Stephen Schwartz Musical Godspell raised the roof of the Ellis Theatre last week. A superb visual spectacle and outstanding festival of sound worked collaboratively to create an unforgettable experience for both participants and audience.
The on-stage performances were bursting with energy as the actors used the choric style of the piece to share the story-telling and move seamlessly between speech, song and dance. Zoe Humphries’s choreography effectively captured the disco style of the 1970s whilst also appearing unmistakably modern, with the quick pace of the montage expertly stage-managed by Poppy G-C and Lilly L.
Equally fantastic was the band, prominently positioned above the action and comfortably within the audience sight-line so that their expertise could be fully appreciated, be it a full company number or one of the many percussive sound effects used to enhance the stage work.
Paul Cox’s outstanding skill in designing a Manston-type refugee centre gave the Marlborough revival of this dated piece significant contemporary relevance and, thanks to audience generosity, it raised £300 for Amnesty International.
Hilarious one moment and moving the next, this was an inspiring feast of creativity from all involved.