Mame Review

It's been some 50 years since Mame opened in London, then starring Ginger Rogers, but this new production led by Tracie Bennett which premiered at Manchester's Hope Mill Theatre sizzles brilliantly.
The company of Mame. Photo by Pamela Raith.
Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's story of free-spirited Mame and her passing through a series of misadventures possibly wouldn't connect emotionally if it wasn't for the arrival of Mame's 10-year-old nephew who is entrusted into her care. This relationship ties everything that happens together brilliantly and adds a layer of emotion to the chaos that Mame's world.

Nick Winston's production delights from the start, his choreography is pulled off excellently by a large company in a small space. Philip Witcomb's art deco inspired set is effective although the doors used for entrance and exit points could have been quieter.

Jerry Herman's score sounds tremendous with Jason Carr's orchestration and performed by talented on-stage musicians. The performance was dedicated to Jerry's memory as he sadly passed away on Boxing Day. He'd be so proud of this production and the work done on his music.
Harriet Thorpe (Vera) and Tracie Bennett (Mame). Photo by Pamela Raith.
Amongst the cast, there's fine work by a fabulous Harriet Thorpe as larger than life best friend Vera - the second act number, Bosom Buddies, is a real highlight. Darren Day short-lived role as Beauregard is effective on his first performance. Jessie May characterises maid Agnes Gooch superbly. Lochlan White (who shares the role with 2 other boys) does a fine job as Young Patrick and Chase Brown carries on the work in the second act as Older Patrick.

There's no denying the star of this show - Tracie Bennett. She more than conveys every emotion of the character. She's incredibly charming and instantly you feel connected to her. She conveys every emotion through the character's journey fantastically. As soon as she enters for her first scene floating down a staircase you know you're watching a world-class performer at work. Her big vocal moment comes with the second act number 'If He Walked Into My Life', an emotionally charged unforgettable moment.

If this production was a bottle of champagne or a cocktail it would be the best and most charming drink you've ever had. It's West End quality and West End ready and I hope there's more life for this yet. A triumph.

Review - ★★★★★ - an outstanding Tracie Bennett leads this joyous unmissable revival.

Mame plays at Northampton's Royal Theatre until Saturday 11th January - visit here to book. The production then plays at Salisbury's Playhouse Theatre from the 21st to 25th January - visit here to book
The cast of Mame. Photo by Pamela Raith

Comments

  1. It's Agnes Gooch but great review - looking forward to seeing these wonderful performers at the Thursday matinee tomorrow!

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