Musical theatre / “Margaret Fulton the Musical”, at The Q, Queanbeyan, until March 27. Reviewed by IAN McLEAN.
JUST as Margaret Fulton needed good quality flour to make a batch of her scones rise, a musical needs good music to achieve a similar result.
Sadly, the lack of anything of quality in the music department meant there was no rising in this show; it was but a soggy, deflated mess.
A poorly recorded backing track with mechanical and totally dispassionate playing opened the show. It was then played so loudly that the actors had no chance of their words being heard or understood. Things went downhill from there.
The script was unsophisticated and infantile and the acting at times bordered on an “over the top” music hall cast. The choreography was very basic.
It was beyond musical belief that the cast, when singing chorus numbers, would seem to decide individually when they would cease singing. Never once was there a song that actually ended together, singers finished in dribs and drabs, most of the time with the backing track still on.
Lighting was pretty well totally white with two options – full or soft. Even when a quiet ballad was being sung in a subdued downstage corner, full light remained blazing. There may have been a hint of a red wash at one point but a lighting design this was not.
Redeeming qualities? The single set was true to period and was colourful with appropriate props including an orange crock pot.
Judy Hainsworth, in the title role, has a pleasant vocal sound but sadly the ongoing overpowering backing track did not allow her voice to be heard to advantage.
To their credit cast members tried hard and didn’t appear to be embarrassed to be part of the production. They really had little chance to succeed with this amateurish material.