The Witches of Eastwick is a musical based on the book and film of the same name and was performed by the Havering Music Makers. It’s a production that is rarely performed by amateur dramatic groups due to the flying scenes but The Queen’s Theatre was pre-equipped for these feats and the Havering Music Makers had the theatrical talents
The set was simple, with all of the focus being placed on the actors, stage hands and actors were often quite cleverly used as props through the night.
As with previous performances by the Havering Music Makers the talent levels were high and this was especially true of the three main Actresses playing the witches;
Alexandra is played by Ellen O’Shea, who we last saw perform as Rose (the happy hooker) in ‘The Likes of Us’ earlier this year. She returns with a singing and acting standard that is worthy of the role previously played by Cher in the 1987 movie.
The Witches of Eastwick is the first Havering Music Makers production to feature both Jenny Draper (who plays Jane) and Sarah Smith (who plays Sukie). And again you can see why they were picked for the roles; they both had fantastic singing voices and skills in acting and dancing. This may be one of their first performances with HMM but I certainly hope it’s not their last
Another actor who is of note is Nick Ford, who plays the mysterious man Darryl von Horne. Nick Ford says that he would not use words such as “handsome as the devil”, “the ideal design” or “has major sex appeal” to describe himself but he does a fantastic job of portraying the devilishly handsome character of Darryl with a strong depiction of confidence and sexual magnificence and this all provided a lot of the comedy for the night. He also has a fantastic singing voice and I enjoyed all of the songs that he was included in, especially ‘Dance with the Devil’.
All of the cast were wonderful and other actors that need to be mentioned include; Jake Portsmouth who really blossoms throughout the show as the character of Michael Spofford is taught to ‘Dance with the Devil’ by Darryl and Jackie Lowe (who plays Felicia Gabriel) does some amazing magic tricks on stage as well as a lot of nagging.
The whole night was amazing and was certainly up to Broadway standard. I felt the story was slightly vague about the statuses of the 3 witches near the start and a lot was left up to the audience to guess. But the night had me laughing and singing ‘dance with the devil’ all the way home
Nick Ford – Darryl van Horne
Ellen O’Shea – Alexandra Spofford
Jenny Draper – Jane Smart
Sarah Smith – Sukie Rougemont
Jackie Lowe – Felicia Gabriel
Sonja Lahiff – Jennifer Gabriel
Jake Portsmouth – Michael Spofford
Trent Butler – Clyde Gabriel
Director & Choreographer – David Street
Musical Directors – Phil Gostelow & Bruce Knight
Assistant Director – Christine Brown