As the Curtains rose on the musical whodunnit at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre this week, Jason Manford dazzled as the bumbling detective - who it turns out also loves to dabble in community theatre. I wasn’t expecting the strong and soulful singing voice, but it was just one in a series of opening night highlights from this smart and sassy production.
From the laugh-out-loud comedy of numbers such as ‘The Woman’s Dead’ to the rousing ‘Show People’ which made me want to jump up, grab myself a cane and join in with the kick-line and jazz hands, Curtains is a show for people who truly love theatre.
The beautiful Carley Stenson shone as Georgia Hendriks – and what a voice she has. The director, played to perfection by Samuel Holmes, delivered some of the best lines in the show with a fabulous Basil Fawlty quality, and the rock-solid Rebecca Lock’s Carmen Bernstein wove heart and humour together seamlessly. Alan Burkitt’s dance moves stole the stage whenever they appeared, and Emma Caffrey succeeded in injecting surprising emotion into the vulnerable yet spunky Bambi.
There were beautiful tender moments too, including Jason’s delivery of the sweet ‘Coffee Shop Nights’ and the utterly fantastic Ore Oduba’s heartbreaking rendition of ’I Miss The Music.’ The plot has everything from love triangles and betrayal, to pride, family tensions and – of course – murder.