This is the review of last year's show Whistle Down the Wind written by adjudicator Greg Currid. We would like to thank Greg for his review and for taking the time to visit us in Galway. We are delighted to hear that he enjoyed the show!
9 ARCH CLAREGALWAY MUSICAL SOCIETY – WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND
Whistle Down The Wind is another musical by the impresario himself, Andrew Lloyd Webber. Originally set in England he, and lyricist Jim Steinman relocated the show to Louisiana. The tale of a teenage girl who finds an escaped convict in the barn but because of all the fire and damnation they have been preached, she thinks that she has found Jesus.
Louis Brennan (The Man) gave a most assured performance with good clean diction, a clear lyrical voice with a nice high falsetto. There was a tendency to drop the accent in quieter moments, which led to inaudible enunciation.
He played opposite Kate O’Mahoney (Swallow). She performed with a great display of emotion but at all times kept the accent correct, crisp and with a good delivery. A little bit more control of her natural vibrato will help with intonation. Swallow had two siblings, Sarah McGuire (Brat) sang most perfectly in tune and gave a marvelous performance and she was ably assisted by Jack McManus (Poor Baby) who spoke clearly and loudly, sang in tune and never missed a cue or a mark.
Michael Conway (Boone) was father to the three and he gave a good performance of a man struggling within himself to provide for his family and yet still reminiscing about his wife.
Sarah Hession (Candy) played the cameo role of the frustrated girl trying to escape the town and she put all her energy into her performance of “Tire Tracks”.
Playing opposite her was Declan J Gardiner (Amos) who was her love interest. Declan moved gracefully around the stage and delivered his lines with good diction and a perfect accent. Declan also doubled up as choreographer for the show. His duet with Candy included a terrific dance routine that they performed expertly. Unfortunately some of the chorus dancing was a little bit too intricate for some of the chorus and there was hesitancy at times.
Peter Kennedy (Director) had the dialogue moving at a good pace but the pace was hampered by the slow scene changes of the large cumbersome sets. Lighting was too one dimensional and there were a number of late sound cues.
Shane Farrell (Musical Director) decided to play in the pit himself which meant that whilst he had a good rapport with the musicians, who gave us some beautiful melodic accompaniment, particularly the reeds, he was not able to ensure that every entrance and finish of the choral singing was as precise as we would have expected.
We were treated to a wonderful rendition of “When Children Rule the World” by the children’s chorus, whereby their singing and dancing was absolutely spot on and was a highlight for me. I had the pleasure of meeting the AIMS adjudicator from 2000, Sten Pears, and he regaled me with stories of his travels around the country. Overall, a very enjoyable evening’s entertainment in Galway.