Tuesday, November 29

Do You Hear the People Sing? – Northwich Memorial Court

It’s clear to see that theatres are delighted to open their doors again all over the country and the award-winning Knutsford Musical Theatre Company (KMTC) are one company who demonstrate this as they welcome audiences back to Northwich Memorial Court this week. This is KMTCs first concert since lockdown and in an evening that provides a wide array of songs from musicals, it was obvious that the intent of the evening was certainly to be an evening of celebration.

There could be no denying from the opening number of Clare Moorhouse’s performance of ‘Tell me it’s not True,’ with the KMTC from the fabulous ‘Blood Brothers’ that the quality of the entire evening was going to be exceptional.

As the evening unravelled it was hard to believe that this was amateur theatre as the energy from each performance was exceptional. With a film backdrop between performances, a story was created with a timeline of news and events unfolding, representing the time that theatres had been closed. Of course, this time has been emotional for many, very political in parts, yet has included pockets of joy from time to time. It did not go unnoticed that a great deal of effort had been considered in the set order of performances that suited the timeline of events on the film footage on stage.

Director, Ben Ireson and Musical Director Michael J Scott must be applauded- putting together a show of this standard is no easy job. They have certainly produced a very special evening, an evening that undoubtedly includes something for everyone from various genres of musical theatre. The talented band under the direction of Michael J Scott must be congratulated for constant changes in tempo in absolute alignment of all that was happening on the stage.

As always when a magnificent evening is presented, there are too many standout performances to list but it would be remiss to not comment on the incredible Hannah Young and her performance of ‘I’m telling you,’ from ‘Dreamgirls’. With a powerhouse of a voice and an abundance of stage presence, this performance had it all and although only performed mid-way through the first set, the audience were already keen to give her a well-deserved standing ovation.

Having previously had the pleasure of watching KMTCs award winning performance of ‘Ghost’ it was pleasing to see the extraordinarily talented Nickie Simms perform ‘With You’. Emotional, passionate and causing discreet moist eyes in the audience, this performance was simply stunning and her vocals effortless. In a change of tempo, her performance of ‘Raise Your Voice’ from Sister Act demonstrated her versatility and comedic interaction with the other ‘Sisters’ on stage. Nickie Simms would not be out of place on any stage- she leaves nothing off stage in each performance.

Thomas Friths performance of ‘Bui Doi’ from Miss Saigon was powerful and passionate as he commanded the stage with flawless vocals with the KMTC males.

With a finale of the classic ‘One Day More’ from the infamous Les Misérables, the audience were eager to provide a standing ovation. The pleasure from the audience matched the pleasure on stage as the KMTC certainly seemed to have a great time being back where they belong. What a night!

Do you hear the people sing is more than a performance, it is a celebration of the return to theatre and you’d be hard pushed to find a more passionate committed bunch than KMTC. If you love musical theatre, appreciate talent and quality amateur theatre then I’d urge you to watch. You will not be disappointed. With a fitting dedication to KMTCs President Ken Webb who sadly passed away this year there could not be a better tribute. A superb evening.

On until 23rd October, tickets are available for Do you Hear the People Sing via https://www.kmtc.org.uk/tickets.html

Reviewer: Angela Kelly

Reviewed: 21st October 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★