Book: Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barber
Director: Emily Summers
Musical Director: Anghrad Sanders
The Lichfield Garrick Community Musical turns three this year with a move away from Howard Goodhall it instead produces Once Upon A Mattress, a musical adaptation of the Princess and the Pea.
With such a large cast the Garrick’s stage is pushed to its limits and overspills into the auditorium during a couple of large company numbers. The choreography was fairly basic but worked well with such the sizable ensemble.
The Book, a conjoined effort by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barber is a funny and raucous retelling of the Princess and the Pea. However, it does take quite a while for it to get engaging. Once it does, however, it holds all the key elements of a good fairytale, a power hungry Queen, a Princess, a Price wanting love and spoiler alert; a happily ever after.
Director Emily Summers works well with the script to get it on its feet with a mixed ability cast and even manages to find a way to make a couple of local references. Summers does also explore the role of a confident women well. It all works as a pleascant nod to the 100th anniversary of some women getting the vote.However, it does feel that this production would have benefitted from a bit more rehearsal time, particularly in act one which seemed a bit slow and didn’t really explore the elements that could make the performance glitter and shine
The performance does find it’s way after the break. The pacing of the script itself is better and there are moments that are a joy to watch. No one can fault the commitment of the cast to put on a full-scale production. It is a huge accomplishment. Overall it just needed a bit more work to improve the pacing in act one alongisde a few other elements to make it the success it could be.