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The Community of Hungerford Theatre Company - Brigadoon

15th to 18th February 2012.

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Back to the good old plays

Town show Brigadoon goes down well in Hungerford

Hungerford Town Show: Brigadoon, at John O'Gaunt School, Hungerford, from Wednesday, February 15 to Saturday, February 18

An audience spanning all age groups turned out at John O'Gaunt Community College to enjoy a spectacular musical production of Brigadoon; originally a Broadway success, before being made into a film starring Gene Kelly in the early 1950s.

Two New Yorkers, Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglas, are on a hunting expedition in the Scottish Highlands. They stumble upon a mysterious and magical village that emerges from the mist, only to find out that, by a miracle from God, this village is only accessible once every 100 years. Albright falls instantly in love with the village and more specifically the lovely Fiona, played by Charlotte Shanahan. Douglas, however, takes a little more convincing, despite the best efforts of the humorously over-zealous Meg Brockie (Julie Gower).

The dormant hillsides suddenly burst into life with a wedding 200 years in the making (or two days to the villagers of Brigadoon). But the jealous Harry Richie cannot help himself but kiss the new bride on her wedding day only to attempt to flee the town when his love is unrequited.

In a dramatic second act, Ritchie is found dead before he could leave the town, Albright and Douglas return to New York, only for Albright to return and break the spell of Brigadoon with the true love he feels for Fiona.

The show was impressively directed to include all the cast. A lot of commitment had clearly been put into the building of large sets and painting of backdrops to create the sweeping landscapes of Brigadoon; particularly impressive in the village scene and during the wedding. The detailed costume design was terrific in bringing the show truly to life.

The orchestra was energetic and unified, allowing the singers to excel. Shaun Blake gave a charismatic performance, singing Go Home to Bonnie Jean with real gusto, Simon Pembroke demonstrated terrific comic timing and Geren Scarlett showed maturity and understanding as Harry Richie. Albright's musing of "why do people have to lose things to find out what they really mean?" seems a fitting message for the obvious good in continuing to stage old plays as this production showed.