Every year we look forward to receiving our official Noda Show Report, and we could not be happier to be sharing it with you now! A huge thank you to our Noda District 4 Representative, Craig Inglis.
"Always excited to see a show new to me, this was the first time I had seen Half A Sixpence, although realised very quickly that I knew more of the songs that I thought. This show is almost a one man show, following the story of Arthur Kipps as he dumps his long-standing girlfriend in favour of social climbing, dumps his new fiancé in favour of returning to his roots, walks out on his job when he comes into money and forgets about his steadfast friends. Now with all these contrasting, sometimes dubious, situations and emotions, along with being the central character, Kipps needs to maintain and establish a great rapport with the audience which is what David Cannell achieved with great success. He balanced a naivety in the role with a likeable brightness. David dominated the show throughout in a captivating performance showcasing his acting, singing and dancing skills. His shop buddies were Sid, Buggins and Pierce, respectively played by Michael McCabe, Bryan Slavin and Andrew Martin who gave strong performances and produced effortlessly contrasting characters throughout. Kipps original and final love interest, Ann Pornick, was given a wonderful and strong portrayal by Lynne Kenmuir. Lynne balanced the warm and likable character in Act One with the heartier and uptight girl we meet in Act Two when she encounters Kipps at some higher social gatherings where she is a servant. In these scenes, which establish the distance threatening to separate them due to differing social status, were excellently performed by David and Lynne. The high society in Kipps life comes in the form of the Walsingham’s, with whom Kipps becomes entangled until he realises the error of his ways and also learns that Young Walsingham has embezzled his money. Helen Walsingham who is very much the milder member of this family, encouraged by the selfish needs of her mother and brother, was superbly played by Ciara Brady. Ciara’s character was kind, gentle, elegant, and with an innocence that meant in the end when Kipps leaves her I was nearly in tears feeling so sorry for her. Ciara’s impressive singing voice was beautiful and a joy to listen to throughout the show. Although professing her love for Kipps, their coupling is doomed to failure as a result of the misgivings of her aloof mother, and opportunity grasping brother. These were three contrasting performances and Carol Ann McKinlay and Neil Heath played the “baddies” of the piece fantastically well with relish. The other character that tends to dominate in Kipps’ life is his actor manager Chitterlow who is the channel for Kipps second fortune. Stuart McKinlay was perfectly cast and gave a larger than life and very theatrical portrayal. He and David complimented each other perfectly and were very entertaining to watch. The shop girls, Victoria, Flo and Kate were nicely portrayed by Sara Green, Wendy Cannell, and Diane Woodburn. The girls, like the boys, gave individual characterisations very well and brought energy and merriment to the story. The rest of the cast was made up of an enthusiastic ensemble and supporting character performances including Joshua Good as Young Kipps and Lemoni Dempster as Young Ann. Huge congratulations to the crew and production team working behind the scenes. The set was impressive and served all scenes well and along with carefully used pieces of furniture and props served the plot perfectly and ensured a swift progression from scene to scene so that pace was never compromised. Within the stationary surrounding set the choreography looked spotless, tidy and well drilled which was backed up with tremendous and rousing ensemble and principal singing from start to finish. The costumes were effective, as was the lighting so the visual side added to the overall marvellous achievement this show was for the club. I would also like to personally thank the committee for being the first club in Region 4 to list a diary of upcoming shows in their programme, something which was agreed at the District 4 meeting in January. It was lovely to see the supportive community in District 4 grow and was very much appreciated."