Amadeus 2016

A joint production with Fourways Drama Group and The Garden Players at Lancaster Arts Centre

The simple set was cleverly devised and I loved the chandeliers which depicted the era perfectly. The use of projected pictures is a device which expresses changes of scene with the minimum of fuss. Using the cast to change chair tables and the like does not detract from the action and Jim Peach and Godfrey Smith on Props are to be commended. I especially liked the cakes and almost came onto the stage to sample one! Stage Manager Jane Clark also ensured that all the changes ran smoothly.

Just a few minor comments. In the first half the musical excerpts were too abruptly switched off and a slight fade would only have taken seconds, however this was rectified in the second half and the use of Mozart’s amazing music soared through the auditorium, Steve Curtis is to be complimented on his expertise. Gill Bates and Jim Peach did an excellent job on lighting and projection which was smooth and efficient.

Steve McAdam stepping in at the last minute to play Salieri was superb, it is not an easy task to change from Director to actor but he was amazing and one would not have known he had not rehearsed the part from the beginning (although I always enjoy seeing Jeff Baynham in action).

Joshua Ford took on quite a task in his challenging role and although I felt from my research that writer David Cairns argued against Shaffer’s depiction of ‘Mozart’s two contradictory beings, sublime artist and fool’ it was not evident in this production of Mozart’s rather childish actions and his depiction of Mozart as an idiot rather than a silly youngster who had not yet grown up rather dominated his performance. However Joshua he was a fine actor and his demeanour is rather down to the way he was directed.

Emma Graveling made a delightful Constanze she was sweet and charming although some of the dialogue was not of the era but that is down to the playwright.

Debbie Keenan and Graham Weeks were both excellent in their roles and I especially liked Graham’s interpretation.

Rhydian always gives a fine performance and David Wright, Jim Cornwell, Adam Besley and Richard Higham all offered the gravitas required for their roles although I felt at times they were almost too indulgent of Mozart’s behaviour and only showed their disapproval on occasion.

Pippa Dadd made a very glamorous Katherina Cavalieri and the other members of the cast complimented the performance.

Costumes were lovely, some of the wigs looked good but some looked rather sad, I am not sure whether they belong to the group or are hired in.

This is not a play I particularly like and would not have chosen under normal circumstances but I can appreciate how well it was done and this is the second time I have seen it performed by amateurs (who incidentally are more professional than some of the so called professional plays I have seen) Both were very different but both were interesting in their interpretations.

— Rita Carpenter

Your production was very impressive, with excellent costumes, wigs, make-up, lighting and sound. I attend a lot of theatre, including many amateur shows, and I must say the quality of your primary actors was outstanding.

It must have been very difficult for everyone to adjust to working without Jeff Baynham at such short notice, and you all did an incredible job. The show was seamless, and no one could have known that you had just stepped into the role.

This must have been particularly difficult for Joshua Ford who played so many of his scenes directly opposite you, but he was quite incredible. What a very talented young man, one certainly to watch out for in the future.

I also particularly liked Emma Graveling in the role of Constanze Mozart, and Pippa Dadd who played Katherina Cavalieri.

It’s a shame we don’t publish reviews, but as I write so far ahead of publication it would be a long time before it appeared in print, and we feel previews are much more important because they actually help you to sell your tickets.

The charity you were supporting, the Child Bereavement Trust, is one particularly close to my heart, and it was good to see it so well represented.

If I may add a personal observation, with amateur theatre productions always take place in a wide variety of places including many church or village halls with hard chairs, which can affect one’s enjoyment of the performance, and I have endured many uncomfortable evenings. I had hoped that the Lancaster Arts Centre would provide a more comfortable experience, but I am sorry to say that although the building is most impressive to look at, the seating has not been well designed or thought out. The seats are very hard, very narrow and with little to no room for legs. This is merely an observation, and I know how difficult it can be for amateur productions to find premises, but I would not be keen to return to this centre.

Your production was very impressive, with excellent costumes, wigs, make-up, lighting and sound. I attend a lot of theatre, including many amateur shows, and I must say the quality of your primary actors was outstanding.

It must have been very difficult for everyone to adjust to working without Jeff Baynham at such short notice, and you all did an incredible job. The show was seamless, and no one could have known that you had just stepped into the role.

This must have been particularly difficult for Joshua Ford who played so many of his scenes directly opposite you, but he was quite incredible. What a very talented young man, one certainly to watch out for in the future.

I also particularly liked Emma Graveling in the role of Constanze Mozart, and Pippa Dadd who played Katherina Cavalieri.

The charity you were supporting, the Child Bereavement Trust, is one particularly close to my heart, and it was good to see it so well represented.

If I may add a personal observation, with amateur theatre productions always take place in a wide variety of places including many church or village halls with hard chairs, which can affect one’s enjoyment of the performance, and I have endured many uncomfortable evenings. I had hoped that the Lancaster Arts Centre would provide a more comfortable experience, but I am sorry to say that although the building is most impressive to look at, the seating has not been well designed or thought out. The seats are very hard, very narrow and with little to no room for legs. This is merely an observation, and I know how difficult it can be for amateur productions to find premises, but I would not be keen to return to this centre.

— Heather Jan Brunt, Bucks Herald

We enjoyed the play last night and so did Sylvia Wimpenny who came with us. Well done for your excellent direction and special congratulations for reading the part of Salieri. It worked well despite having the book in your hand – in fact it seemed appropriate to have the book while you were telling the story.
It was a good cast who served you very well but special mentions should go to ‘Mozart’ , those controlling the lights and sound and to the costume department.
Many thanks to all.

— Tony & Ann Fox

Well done! The whole thing was absolutely wonderful and you did a really good job.
I’m glad I came! Congratulations

— Lynne Gailey

You should be immensely proud of a fantastic personal performance in what must have felt like a near disaster. The whole cast were wonderful and contributed to a most enjoyable show. I felt that you reading did not affect the enjoyment as it looked like you were reading your own recordings of the historic events leading up to the play.
I really hope that the rest of the week goes well

— Colin Moir

That was a great rescue act you performed last night. We thoroughly enjoyed the play.
It’s inspired us to renew our acquaintance with the film.

— Peter & Alison Bromley

Great show last night. You were fantastic. It must have been one helluva day. The whole audience loved it and we certainly did. All the best with the next three shows.

— Tony Woolcott

We want to congratulate you on your heroic performance last night!
We thoroughly enjoyed the production and your major narrative part, as delivered,
was suberb. We hope you are recovering from the shock of having to step in at
such short notice, but it did not detract from the overall effect.

— Dick & Mary Van Wely

Desiree and I enjoyed very much last evening’s performance and congratulate you in the circumstances not only for your direction but also for your participation as Salieri.
We appreciate that the circumstances were particularly trying for you but you carried it off most professionally!

— David Jackson

Congratulations on a masterful performance this evening, the whole production was excellent, but standing in at the 11th hour was a tour de force, well done.
We are away until Monday and I believe you are off to Portugal on Tuesday. Have a well earned rest.

— Judy Lucas

Dear Debs and Graham,
Absolutely well done. You were both brilliant and as for your Director having to take Salieri on at the last moment well I am amazed that he did so well.

— David & Rosemary Burfitt

June and I were at Amadeus last night and just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed it. The main point of the mail is to say that we thought you did a remarkable job in the most difficult circumstances, having to take over the lead when the other guy pulled out.
I was trying to get my head round what I would have done in the same circumstances. Anyway, you should be extremely proud of yourself, not just for carrying on but for doing such a great job.

— Paul & June Baldock

Well, well, done. Given the circumstances I thought you did a wonderful job of standing in for the Lead Role, especially as it must have had 50 percent of the lines.

In fact, the nature of the part lended itself to you actually reading, so it didn’t really detract from the story. Concerning the Play in general, I think it was far more enjoyable than Shakespeare, an interesting period and a good story. You were actually very well suited to the part.

— Keith Bradford

Thank you for the show last night, it was fab! It must have been such a blow to lose Salieri, but you all did a great job, and hats off to the Director for stepping in – not easy! Mozart was sublime.
Really enjoyable

— David Alderton

Well done yesterday evening, Steve. Particularly well done for taking on the taxing role of Salieri at the last moment. I felt that you covered extremely well that you were having to read the whole part. I was also particularly impressed with your Mozart.
It was a most enjoyable evening. Congratulations!

— John Timewell

Just to say how much I enjoyed Amadeus yesterday evening!

Steve, you did an admirable job of stepping into the role of Salieri at short notice.

Always a super story in any format, but this one was very enjoyable.

Hope you raised good money for this very worthy cause.

— Antonia Mortlock

Many congratulations on a stunning performance last night. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it. You have my profound admiration for stepping in at the last minute and doing such a splendid job.

— Archie Wilson

Rose and I enjoyed another excellent performance of Amadeus. Well done to you all especially you having to read the script throughout. It didn’t spoil the performance …well done you.

— Janette Crouch

Brilliant performance tonight Steve under very difficult circumstances. Very well done, what a trouper you are.

— Jill and Chris Simpson

Hi Steve. Just a short note to say that we very much enjoyed Amadeus yesterday. You did so well standing in as Salieri – what a nightmare for you all to have to deal with! Anyway, it didn’t detract from our evening.

— Nige and Karen Young

Production Photo Gallery