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ME AND MY GIRL (article first published : 2004-09-7)

APOLOGIES – THIS REVIEW SHOULD HAVE BEEN POSTED SHORTLY AFTER THE PRODUCTION WAS IN DURBAN.

The talented students of Northcliff High School in Johannesburg have done it again with Me and My Girl. For the sixth year in a row they have presented a sparkling musical that does them proud. Much credit is due to the director, Nick Jourdan, who has laboured hard to bring these holiday treats to Durban on an annual basis.

The setting is a British stateley home in the 1920s, ancentral home for centuries of the Earl of Hareford. The “bright young things” of the period are appalled when it is revealed that the new earl is of lowly origins – he is a Cockney costermonger from Lambeth, of all places.

The rest of the action revolves around the machinations of the aristocratic relatives to educate the new earl in the ways of the gentry and separate him from his Cockney girlfriend, Sally.

For the third time in a Northcliff production, Jonathan Roxmouth gives a stand-out performance as the bewildered Bill Snibson, an ordinary East End “bloke” suddenly caught up in the haughty lifestyle of the aristocratic world. Clair Pfister, who plays Sally and does a My Fair Lady metarmophosis from ugly duckling to swan, has a charming stage presence and an excellent voice.

Other performances of exceptional quality are those of Bruce MacLean as the droll and truly comical Sir John Tremeyne and Samantha Cartwright as Lady Jacqueline Carstone, a conniving coquette keen to advance her social status.

This is a team effort, of course, and the enseble work, as well as the musical accompaniment, is very polished. The sets are attractive and imaginative and the costumes dazzling.

Above all it is the vivacity and enthusiasm of the young cast that makes Me And My Girl such an enjoyable theatrical experience. – Patrick Leeman




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