42nd Street, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne
IT WAS good to see a nearly full-house at Eastbourne’s Congress Theatre on Tuesday September 4 for the first night of 42nd Street which UK Productions currently has out on tour.
It richly deserved the cheers that nearly brought the roof off as this is a stunning production. Directed by Mark Bramble it stars two of Britain’s greatest musical actors and singers, Dave Willetts and Marti Webb and no plaudits are good enough for these two, especially Marti Webb.
The part of Peggy Sawyer the young girl plucked from the chorus to become a star overnight was very well played by Jessica Punch and her dancing, like all the “tappers” is exceptional. It was not surprising the show-stopping dance routines received a long round of applause.
Graeme Henderson not only plays Chorus Master Andy Lee in the show he is also the choreographer and he has done a first-class job. There is one scene reminiscent of the old Busby Berkeley musicals where the chorus girls perform a routine lying on the floor with a tilted mirror above them reflecting their every move.
This is a show that has had no expense spared from the lighting design by David Howe, the costume designer Roger Kirk to the set designer Douglas W. Schmidt. It has a great cast and chorus, including the veteran actor Bruce Montague and you won’t see a better show than this on Broadway or in London’s West End.