Dirty Rotten Scoundrels review by Julia Pattison

The cast of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
The cast of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

You know that Christmas is just round the corner when Woldgate’s annual musical hits town.

All credit to staff, cast and crew for carving out the time to continue this tradition despite the demands of growing workloads.

This year’s production was Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, set on the French Riviera “a delightful, frivolous riot of personality competiveness coming down to the wire” where we eventually discovered who triumphed in the end.

Deftly directed by effervescent head of drama, Helen Bartlett, with imaginative choreography by Lisa McDaid, and an excellent live band, directed by Adam Schofield, this production was vibrant and energetic; no sign of any stage nerves, everyone from principals to chorus seemed to be having the time of their lives.

Toby Russell gave a very confident and assured performance as con-artist Lawrence Jameson, tricking wealthy women out of their money.

With the local police chief Andre Thibault (played with great aplomb by Charlie Cahill) in his pocket, all was going well for Lawrence until younger rival con man Freddy Benson (Harris Bowman, who commanded the space with his stage presence) arrived and threatened to queer the debonair English con man’s pitch.

The on-stage chemistry between the deceiving pair was positively fizzing, with many comedic moments, not least when Freddy pretended to be paralysed in an effort to win a bet over the affections of Christine Colgate(Megan Waite), and ended up desperately trying to conceal his suffering as he was tortured by Lawrence masquerading as a doctor.

Hattie Rothwell-Inch lit up the stage as Muriel ,a lovelorn English heiress, and demonstrated a beautiful singing voice as well as measured comic timing.

Abi Rennison’s feisty rendition of Oklahoma was a show-stopping number (yee ha Ma’am, that was a mighty fine performance!) and Megan Waite demonstrated her versatility as a singer and actress with her portrayal of endearingly innocent American Christine, who wasn’t as naïve as she appeared.

With lots of laughs, twists and turns, this was a highly entertaining show. Bravo!