Brewhouse Arts Centre, Union Street, Burton
Once again audiences at the Brewhouse are being treated to a new show.
This time, the town’s Little Theatre Company (LTC), is presenting Acorn Antiques, a musical, written by Victoria Wood, about an antiques dealership that is threatened with closure when the street is sold to a property developer.
It is loosely based on the ‘soap opera’ that featured in Victoria Wood’s television series Victoria Wood as Seen on TV which ran from 1985 to 1987.
It is an affectionate send-up of the soap opera genre, most notably Crossroads, set in the Midlands, which became a byword for cheap production values, particularly in the 1970s and early 1980s.
The atmosphere of this quintessential English period piece, set in the fictional Manchesterford, is aided and abetted by the wonderful advertisements shown on the curtain before the show starts that really capture what a trip to the cinema was like for theatre-goers of a certain age.
The show is a tour de force for Katie Haywood as Mrs Overall, bent double for her time on stage – but still managing to strut her stuff in the tap dancing. Someone behind me remarked that she even stayed in character when taking a bow at the end by resolutely remaining crouched.
She is ably supported by Miss Babs, Elaine Pritchard, Miss Bertha, Heather Gallagher – who sings Remind Him wonderfully, and Miss Bonnie, Vicky Fryer.
Craig Atkinson plays Mr Clifford very well and certainly has his moments dancing along to Shagarama!
As always with LTC the ensemble playing is of the highest standard and there is time in the spotlight for many of the cast.
Rob Tunley, as Tony, hits just the right note with his portrayal of the strutting, emotionally-cold loan shark and the change of accents when Hugh and Mimi (Richard Stonier and Caitlin Pritchard) take on board the world of antiques is very good.
Acorn Antiques: The Musical! is on at the Brewhouse every night until Saturday, November 15, at 7.30pm. There is also a Saturday matinee performance at 2.30pm.
Tickets, priced £10 for adults and £8 for concessions, are available from the Brewhouse box office on 01283 508100.