Friday, April 22, 2011

Locals Know - Camelot

With the weather we have been having lately it is hard to believe that yes indeed, it is spring time in Stratford. But last weekend we had the opportunity to see one of the first previews of the season…. “Camelot.”

It was wonderful to see a patron filled Festival Theatre. The room was filled with anticipation and excitement for the new season and we were not to be disappointed. This production is a delicious dose of classical, and romantic Musical Theatre. Director Gary Griffin has created a production that is a true both to the script, and plays homage to the timeless romance of the 1950’s Musical format.

This production doesn’t take itself too seriously, and many of the characters are presented with a tongue in cheek sense of frivolity. This keeps the production light and entertaining, but isn’t as over the top as “Kiss Me Kate” was last year.

The songs themselves were a pleasant surprised for us. We went into this production with few expectations, as we knew the storyline but didn’t really remember the show itself. As each musical number developed we found ourselves saying, “Oh, I forgot this song was from this play.” There were plenty of magical moments, but one that really stood out was Jonathan
Winsby’s rendition of “C’est Moi.”

As always the set and costumes are spectacular and our hats go off to everyone involved in the backstage departments of this show. The show is a visual feast from the opening moment, (which takes your breath away), to the majestic scene of pomp and ceremony where Arthur knights Lancelot in front of the entire court. We sat in the balcony this time, and the shapes and patterns created by choreographer Warren Carlyle, during the show are breathtaking.

We had the privilege of sitting next to the family of Jimmy Mallett, who plays the young Arthur, and Tom of Warwick. He did an outstanding job for a youngster on the Festival Stage, and the pride and support of his family made the show that much more memorable for us.

This show has been promoted as this year’s family friendly production and we completely agree. The story being about kings and knights should be enough to capture the interest of a younger audience. (The sword fights won’t hurt either) The feeling that we left with was that we had seen a great introduction to the musical theatre craft that will hook a young audience.

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