It’s rare to watch a West End musical that is so wonderfully British – and Half a Sixpence really is just that, in so many ways. The direction, choreography and music of the piece frame the energy wonderfully.
If you don’t, you are not in the panto zone, and as O’Grady’s ever alarming Lily Savage would put it, “shaddup, if I wanted your opinion I’d slap it out of ya.” For this really is the mother-lode of pantomime: heavy on stars but, more importantly, getting every ounce of hard work out of every one of them, mercilessly.
The musical Half a Sixpence bounds into the West End from Chichester, newly adapted by Julian Fellowes, with a spring in its step and an infectious grin. The story of Arthur Kipps, a lowly haberdashers’ assistant who comes into money but ultimately questions what happiness it brings, is brought to life in a visually beautiful production directed by Rachel Kavanaugh.
At Crazy Coqs on Friday 28 October 2016 at 4.30pm, I’ll be chatting to a trio of talents from the 25th anniversary revival of Moby Dick! The Musical, which opens this month at the Union Theatre: director-choreographer Andrew Wright along with Anton Stephans and Brenda Edwards, who play Headmistress and Esta in the show and who are both former X Factor finalists.