This is the report from the Butlin Awards. The Butlin awards were introduced to the amateur stage world with a view that the competition would encourage players to reach even greater heights and to produce their best.
Choice of Production.
I question the wisdom of choice of this production- written
especially for the amateur stage, at least with the proven successes from the
west End we have good material, a good book, and even then it is a hard task for
amateurs to really do them credit
But the basics are there to help. I have seen many productions of “Viva Mexico” by adult societies and none have succeeded in mastering the difficulties-but I can honestly say that the 14-20’s made this a more enjoyable evening than most have done.
The sets I thought were quite good and worked well.
Costume was really excellent-quite the best that I have seen for this show and a great credit to all concerned.
Make-up was good and right for the power of lighting.
The stage properties were all satisfying.
The sound effects were spot-on.
The Stage lighting was excellent
The mechanics were all there, moves were well planned,
entrances and exits were crisp and well timed, and characters had variety of
movement which well suited their character. The grouping tended at times to be
a little static, the pace was quite good but the dialogue had its ups and
Some performers were able to project well, others failed in this important aspect of our work. In the vocals the girls outshone the boys in quality and projection. One day perhaps I shall see a production where the producer has had the courage to completely cut the ‘comedy’ business with the rope by Pablo and Pepe-I have never yet found this raise a titter of laughter and it is just flogging a dead horse.
One does not expect the earth from this age group but once again I was agreeably surprised by the standard achieved. A lot more discipline is still required, and a more rigid hold on the ‘character’ – and some performers spoilt their good work as soon as their involvement ended by private jokes with members of the chorus and were in no fit state to get back into character when their next lines came along. Never ever relax from ‘character; under any circumstances.
Raquelita A sweet true voice- and a delightful personality that really came over so well. This girl knows how to make the most of herself.
Lucille Worked hard without ever being really convincing.
Ramon A fair performance but very weak in the vocals
Pablo and Pepe. Both excellent- except for the occasional lapse from character
Mama Inez. A very successful performance indeed
Bernardo and Senator Both quite good, but both suffer from the same complaint- they tend to droop their heads thus losing the most expressive part of an actor’s equipment- the eyes. When they do hold their heads up they screw their eyes as though they cannot bear the lights. Both ways they lose out
Casilda and Lola. Very acceptable performances.
Lopez For me this was quite the most outstanding performance in every way
Mendoza. Worked hard but never dominated as Mendoza should
Choreography. Very impressive
Chorus singing. Good attack but lacked balance- the girls simply swamped the boys.
Orchestra. Excellent and conducted with great sympathy for the performers.
As a matter of interest after I had marked your card, I checked to see what you had achieved last year with “Calamity Jane”, and whilst you will have to wait until after June 30th, I can say this –Well done 14-20’s, you are on the right road