REVIEW Sweet Charity at The Royal Exchange
Friday 16th December 2016 @ 18:41 by Adam Higgins
Entertainment Film Reviews

The sensational, spectacular and sassy Broadway classic Sweet Charity will be performing at The Royal Exchange Theatre until January 28, starring Kaisa Hammarlund as Charity Hope Valentine.

Inspired from the book by Neil Simon, based on the original screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Flaiano, it was produced for the Broadway stage by Fryer, Carr and Harris and conceived, staged and choreographed by Bob Fosse.

Directed by Derek Bond, this iconic production is set in New York in the 1960s. The vibrancy of this era is captured in this dazzling dynamic production with energetic choreography by Aletta Collins and superb stage design by James
Perkins.

The historical context of this musical is rooted in the American feminist movement of the 1960s and the Hippie Movement.

The female characters are all trapped in their subservient dance hall hostess roles at The Fandango Ballroom, which is encapsulated in one of the lines from the show: “There ain’t no use flappin’ your wings, ‘cause we are all stuck in the flypaper of life”.

Cast: Some of the female characters in Sweet Charity (Picture by Richard Davenport)

The essence of the story is that Charity Hope Valentine is looking for love and sadly, is unfortunate in attracting the right man!

There are many comedic moments, especially with Herman (Sevan Stephan), the club manager who was hilarious in his role.

Latin Lothario Vittorio Vidal (Bob Harms) is a charming character and the shenanigans with Charity in the hotel room are very amusing.

On a serious note, Charity yearns for a different life of liberation and very nearly finds it in her relationship with Oscar Lindquist played by Daniel Crossley.

Kaisa Hammarlund is a myriad of talent and charismatic in the role, resembling a remarkable likeness to Shirley Maclaine from the 1969 film adaptation. The music by Cy Coleman and Lyrics by Dorothy Fields engages the audience with a fabulous showstopper score including “Big Spender, Rhythm of Life and If My Friends Could See Me
Now”.

All the cast are amazing and Josie Benson (Daddy Brubeck) gives a powerful and stunning performance, especially her rendition of “Rhythm of Life” which rocked the Royal Exchange boards!

This musical masterpiece will leave you dancing your way home and is a Christmas treat not to be missed!

Contact the Box Office on 0161 833 9833 or online https://www.royalexchange.co.uk/whats-on-and-tickets/sweet-charity for prices and shows.

 

Review by Denise Evans

 

Main picture:

Looking for love: Kaisa Hammarlund is simply stunning as Charity (Picture by Richard Davenport)