Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

★★★★★

Review By Sarah Miatt

CCADS are an impressive, award-winning amateur theatre group based in Portsmouth. Under the lead of artistic director John-Paul McCrohon, they’ve  gone from strength to strength performing a wide range of challenging plays and musicals. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is their latest offering.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, originally a 1988 film starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine, lends its self beautifully to a stage musical. The story of two con man competing on the French Riviera is a comedy great.

This musical was incredibly fun to watch and has a big band swing feel to it at moments, which is very fitting for the period and the characters. The orchestra, although a little over zealous in the opening scene soon settled into a perfect volume. Performing flawlessly under the direction of Musical Director, Louise Helyer.

A beautiful and functional set transports the audience perfectly to the French Riviera in the summer season. The palatial mansion of lead con man Lawrence was particularly impressive. Scene changes, mostly done by the cast, were very slick and well choreographed. Innovative use of the cast in the boxes was effective and the lighting complemented this perfectly.

CCADS Theatre Present Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

CCADS Theatre Present Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Many Fantastic Performances

There were so many fantastic performers in this show. The ensemble was all enthusiastic with perfect harmonies. Choreography by Lydia Thorne and Charlotte Williams was impressive, slick and interesting to watch. John-Paul McCrohon as Lawrence Jameson was suave and sophisticated with great comic timing. Whilst he also had the opportunity to show off his powerful singing voice in the number ‘Love Sneaks In’. Lauren Kempton as heiress Christine Colgate was flawless and funny. Her beautiful singing voice was pure and clear, also playing the goofy part of her character fantastically well.

Danny Owen as corrupt chief of police, Andre Thibault and Kerry McCrohon as, Muriel Eubanks had great onstage chemistry and were particularly wonderful in their duet ‘Like ‘Zis, Like ‘Zat’. While Charlotte Thomas as Jolene Oakes was hilarious, brash and trashy as a hillbilly heiress.

Apprentice Con Man!

However the show belonged to Pete Westmorland as apprentice con man, Freddie Benson. His movements and facial expressions were outstanding and reminiscent of the comedian, Lee Evans at times. When he was playing “Prince Ruprecht” tears were rolling down the faces of much of the audience.

This show was a joy to watch from beginning to end and sets a very high bar for all groups who follow. Just two chances left to see – BOOK TICKETS HERE 

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