Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Glorious! Brighton Little Theatre, July 3
Truth is stranger than fiction. And so it was that the Brighton Little Theatre performed the strange story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a soprano so bad she packed out Carnegie Hall with an audience who couldn't believe what they were hearing.
In Peter Quilter's dramatised version a critical riposte that “nature didn't endow you with a voice, she threw one at you” clearly didn’t make one jot of difference to Florence, nor her legion of fans from Caruso to Tallulah Bankhead. What made Florence irresistible was her self-belief. She loved music - the audience loved her. Even her pianist, a master of the tactful double-entendre, finally succumbed in a portrayal of rare skill by Tobias Clay.
All the cast managed a smidgeon of credibility in the incredible tale, hilariously punctuated by a slapstick dog funeral and a traffic accident which jolted Florence's voice up a third: in grateful thanks, she sent the driver a box of cigars. True - I promise.
Sue Wicks was truly sensational as Madame Foster Jenkins, complete with appalling voice and spectacular costumes. Gerry Wicks was thoroughly convincing as an unconvincing ham actor St Clair in love with the genuine drama of madame, while Nikki Dunsford flittered and flounced perfectly as the (bereaved) Dorothy.
Nobody understood Laura Ann Scobie's Spanish maid, but everyone knew what she meant. Everyone understood what real singing teacher Mrs Verrinder-Gedge (Suzanne Buist) was trying to say, but nobody accepted it.
True story, true grit, great acting, terrible music.
Comments are closed on this article.