IAN HART: Caroline returns to St Louis 25 years on
Worthing Musical Comedy Society returns to the Connaught Theatre next month for a spring production of Meet Me in St Louis. For the show's director, Caroline Lowe, it's very much a case of dÃ©jÃ vu.
Caroline, making her Connaught directorial debut, played the lead role of Esther in the society’s 1993 production of the show, but now finds herself on the other side of the curtain.
Caroline said: “Having thoroughly enjoyed doing the show all those years ago it’s an exciting return, albeit in a different role.”
The much-loved musical, made famous on the big screen by the legendary Judy Garland, will appeal to all ages, with many familiar songs, including the world-famous Trolley Song, and that was one of the things that coaxed Caroline into taking on the top job, a year after she assisted Mandy Chapman with the society’s highly acclaimed production of Annie.
The musical Annie holds great significance for Caroline, as it was as a young performer in 1980, under the tutelage of the late, much-missed Doreen Norris, that she auditioned and won a part in the West End production.
Now, nearly 40 years later, working with a large cast which includes a number of youngsters, it’s an aspect that drives Caroline forward.
She said: “It’s an exciting experience for me. Having previously been directed as an actress, you effectively do as you are told. As director, I can put my own stamp on the show and it’s the creative aspect that I find especially challenging and ultimately rewarding.
“With a company of 50, with an age range right across the spectrum, we are putting together a real feel-good production.”
In these uncertain, and at times worrying events abroad and elsewhere, if you want two-and-a-half hours of quality entertainment, effectively pure escapism at a very reasonable price, I suggest ringing the Connaught box office is the order of the day.
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