What a spectacularly smashing end to a most enjoyable evening! When snooty Wendy’s priceless cups and saucers crashed to the floor a ripple of horror passed through the audience! But it was all in a worthy cause as, through many a tribulation, the women of Wickham Ladies Circle were finally allowed to join the WI. Congratulations to the whole cast for pulling off ‘The WI Inspector Calls ’ with such aplomb. It took 14 women and one angry man (Steve Crossley) to do it. Thanks to Helen Sadler for directing this merry mob so well. There were a number of successful debutantes to the Barrow stage for this production including burnt-cake Flo (Wendy Rees) flustered Kate (Sharon Gudger) and ‘caring’ Jill ( Julie Crosley). From Barrow’s established theatrical stable dotty Mary ( Carol Kenneth ) demented Flo’s mum ( Val Gillings ) snobby Wendy ( Jackie Johnstone) and tearful Carol ( Hannah Jarvis ) really brought their parts to life.
Act 2 of the play was the last item in the evening’s entertainment. Barrow’s Ukulele group had got the evening going with popular numbers such as Alexander’s Rag Time Band smoothly followed by the solo voice of Hannah Jarvis singing an Ed Sheeran song. Then the pure delight of Hall Orchard Choir. Such confidence, enthusiasm and sense of rhythm was especially clear in their rendition of a super Swahili call-and-response song and ‘Star Maker’. After that came a dramatic change as two young dancers, Olivia and Kaitlin Johnstone, captivated everyone with their stunning modern dance routine. Their black costumes were great too! Following the dancers was a small choir from Woodhouse Eaves, ‘Music in Me’, who sang a range of songs to show off their wide range of voices: ‘ Don’t Cry for me Argentina’ was a hit.
Fun followed as Barrow Panto Group reprised a scene from last November’s ‘Snow White and the Seven Chavs’ which included their cheeky chav anthem ‘ Off To Twerk We Go ‘ . All the chavs were convincingly crude except Sleepy who kept dropping off. But Glastonbudget VIP tent sophistication followed as Sophia Dady ended the first act by singing her own jazz-blues compositions, including her latest release ‘The Eclipse ‘ , composed after seeing an eclipse in Hall Orchard playground. Her act was true class as was her sound system! Her son, Ben Dady, on sax, and his keys-player, Nick, perform together as ‘Nearly Blue’. These two had undoubted rapport and their interpretation of Dave Brubeck’s famous ‘Take Five’ was particularly good. All in all if you missed this Bonanza you missed a treat!