NODA Review – Aspects of Love

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Company:​​Erewash Musical Society
Production:​​Aspects of Love
Director:​​Nigel Taylor
MD:​​​Nathan Truesdale
Choreographer:​James Rayner
Venue:​​​Duchess Theatre Long Eaton
Date:​​​7th October 2015
Since its first performance on 17th April 1989, Aspects of Love has had one of the more eventful journeys for an Andrew Lloyd Webber creation. Indeed, when it closed on Broadway in 1991 after only 377 performances and 22 previews it had lost its entire $8Million investment, which, according to the New York Times, made it “perhaps the greatest flop in Broadway history”.
The EMS production was, however, very very far from being a flop!
Nathan Truesdale should be congratulated on the attention to detail he showed in taking a full blown opera, complete with significant passages of extended recitative, and shaping the vocal performances of his actors to communicate the many forms that love takes in the show. His obvious coaching during rehearsal resulted in very clear diction, and significant quality and range from principles and ensemble alike (no nasal twangs evident here or singing from the throat rather than the diaphragm!).
Nathan also guided the 11 piece orchestra on the night and together with the excellent sound balance provided by Ben Tennett, enabled the diction and vocal qualities of the actors to shine through, helping significantly in communicating the complexities of the various relationships. Outstanding vocal performances from Zak Charlesworth, Tracey Renshaw, Gemma Blake, Mark Birch and Sue Hagan drove the interconnected stories forward and were ably supported by a very talented ensemble.
Aspects provides a very significant Directing challenge in communicating the many forms of Love that can exist between individuals: between children and their parents, between couples, both as romantic infatuation and as married people; and same-sex attraction. Nigel created an excellent framework for these Aspects of Love to play out and with a little more focus on character development and encouragement of the actors to use their entire being to exploit their full acting potential (eyes, face, body and finally voice) in their performance, would have taken this facet of the production to the next level.
James Rayners choreography ably supported the action and story development as did the costumes and the use of a small number of key props. The transformation of the quality of technical delivery in community theatre productions was very evident in the superb use of back projection to provide the seamless transfers between the 40 scenes. Dave Dallard should be congratulated for not only the work that had gone into their preparation, but also for keeping their ingenuity in check so that they supported rather than distracted from the on stage action. The backstage crew also moved the action between scenes very efficiently ensuring that the production did not drag at any point.
Congratulations to all on delivering a very enjoyable production and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
Martin Holtom

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