From the very start, with the electrifying orchestral overture, it was obvious to the packed audience that this was going to be, as promised, a wonderful show.
The plot, for those who have never seen this musical, is fairly insubstantial, involving a dance hall hostess, Charity Hope Valentine, played with the perfect combination of winsome but calculating charm by Madeleine Wilson, looking for love (of course). But Charity is doomed to stay firmly attached to the Fandango Ballroom where she works.
We see her at first trying to involve a man she has picked up there, not realising that his own narcissism will not allow him to share, or even notice, hers. She ends up being unceremoniously dumped by him in a nearby pond.
Then it seems she may have hit the big time when she latches on to a famous Italian movie star who conveniently needs an escort into a club, which leads to some farcical and beautifully played scenes by the heroine when he later takes her back to his apartment.
Not nearly so bad though I imagine, as ICOS sister company Imperial Productions' next venture in political incorrectness, which apparently involves a spoof on Hannibal Lector… but I don’t think that will be coming to Budleigh.
Imperial Productions' next Budleigh production will be Pickwick The Musical
Based on Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club by Charles Dickens
Featuring the hit song 'If I Ruled the World'
Sat 5 Dec 2009 in the Public Hall
Performances at 2.30 pm and 7.30pm