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THEATRE REVIEW: FTN reviews Hello Dolly at The Grand Opera House, Belfast

February 27th, 2014 by Big Phil Comments

Hello Dolly
St Agnes’ Choral Society
The Grand Opera House, Belfast
Tue 25 Feb – Sat 01 Mar 2014
Ticket and more information here

Following their critically acclaimed production of The Sound of Music, the award winning St Agnes’ Choral Society presents the much-loved classic Hello Dolly. With memorable numbers such as Hello Dolly, Put On Your Sunday Clothes, It Takes A Woman and Before The Parade Passes By, this show promises to be a theatrical highlight for 2014 in the Grand Opera House.

Hello Dolly, celebrating its 50th year on stage, comes to The Grand Opera House, Belfast. For those who may be unfamiliar with the premise, this is the story of the widow Dolly Gallagher Levi, who has devoted her life since the departing of husband, to being a matchmaker to those around her.

Set in Yonkers, a suburb of New York, matchmaker Dolly is about to board a train to the big city to tend to one of her suitors, Mr Horace Vandergelder, who is also a widow.

Along the way, Dolly literally bumps into Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, who are two of Mr Vandergelder’s employees and who also have decided to leave Yonkers to spend one night in the city and who are looking for love and adventure in equal measures.

What ensues is a tale of chance encounters and perhaps missed opportunities, with Dolly spinning her little love web and trying to ensnare all who pass her. But with so many romances with the potential to blossom, can Dolly succeed and perhaps even capture the one true love that she so desperately wants the most…

This production of Hello Dolly has been brought to the stage by the St Agnes’ Choral Society, which is an amateur theatrical group. Though the performers may not be professional, their dedication is without question.

The acting and vocal performances is something to be appreciated as the countless hours of rehearsal each cast and crew member volunteered really makes the audience appreciate the scope of this production.

Whilst some vocal and dramatic performances are perhaps stronger than others, the large cast clearly supports each other on the stage. The script is still witty and quite refreshing, despite being fifty years old.

The set designs (and clearances) during the performance are functional – neither obscene nor intrusive although some set details may have some audience members scratching their heads (a fine dining table set in the middle of a court room is a clear example).

However, the true visual glory is in the detail of the costumes. The cast have several changes throughout the performance and the outfits range from stripped jackets and straw hats to the highly elegant top hats, tails and canes for a wonderful sequence involving a train journey.

Hello Dolly is indeed a musical and it’s with great appreciation that the actors perform their vocal talents live and to a live band, complete with authentic period instruments.

Whilst this amateur production of Hello Dolly may not be as polished in its performance as some professional musicals, the whole cast certainly have an infectious enthusiasm and, after all, what more could an audience want?

2 out 5 Nerds



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I arrived on Earth in 1977 and have virtually devoted my entire existence to cult films, television programmes and cartoons. I am a very big fan of Star Wars and Star Trek; I may struggle with foreign languages but I can order live Gagh in Klingon! I’m the Nerd that knows the trivia but I’m hopeless at sport!