Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Reviewing The Situation

Small pleasures? Well some things are more of a guilty pleasure. Cream cakes, Marks and Spencer’s crisps, facebook and of course “I’d Do Anything” all definitely fall into that camp. What often amuses me is how much my facebook friends seem to obsess over the television search for “Nancy”. They are joining groups announcing their support of a particular contestant and their status often bemoans that weeks performances. A couple of weeks ago one of them even said “First Boris, now Sarah – what are the public thinking?” You’ve got to love it! So when it came to write a little something about the show I thought it only fair to canvass the opinions of these facebook friends.

My old friend Debra Jackson, a soon to be forty regional business manager (OK so I know she will kill me for that but she’s got a few months on me so I am going to milk it!) told me she absolutely adores and loathes the programme. I think we all know what she means! Anyway she asked if she could comment and be hideously bitchy. Well why not, after all that’s half of the fun.

Bitchy isn’t the half of it! The comments of the people who aren’t watching it were downright nasty. “Beat the Stylist’s” John Scott merely asked “Does anyone watch it?” but box office manager, Berni Green said “sorry i dont watch cruise liner singers and ugly people, my TV wont allow it.” Meeow! Then there was performer Marc Joseph who commented “I refuse to watch it- makes my stomach turn, but then maybe i'm bitter coz I always saw myself playing that part - !!” Hmmmm

But of course there are some of us who are watching the show and loving it. The last two years have seen major talents discovered in Connie Fisher and Lee Mead (not to mention the burgeoning television career of the lord himself) so now the contestants really have an understanding of what’s at stake and how a win could change their lives forever. This makes for an entertaining show that’s just perfect for a Saturday night and also does a good job in getting people to come to the theatre who otherwise may not have done.

Anyway enough of the back ground , it’’s time to dish! I think we will begin proceedings with Deb – what does she think?
“I love the Irish bird - the stage-school/beauty school reject one (Jessie) dances like a puppet but far less fake than the rest. MY BIG Fave
Oldest contestant (Jodie) , ex- weight watcher of the year - would be great as an Elvis impersonator, good lip-curls - seriously over-acts, cries on demand.Niamh - whippet-like bird, looks nice in a dress, looks like she needs a good feed; can u imagine her matching Bill Sykes, she looks so young, Rachel? - if this is the black-haired one, with the crooked mouth, then I like her sincerity, but she reeks of desperation, never a good smell.”

Poor Jodie! Elvis impersonator???? The other feedback I had was very much at odds with Deb’s comments. Former “Chicago” cast member A.J. O’Neill is very much a Jodie fan
“It should be Jodie. She just IS nancy. Sam should be shot quick before she gets the job and they realise that she's a pop singer who is too young and inexperienced and just cause she's hot and has the support of an entire island she'lll never be in the bottom two. Gah” Hmmmm the bitchiness keeps coming back!

Box Office clerk Nic Myers joins the praise for Jodie….
“Best choice look wise and she is a strong singer, but her belt is not great at the top....Sam is a friend so (I am a ) little biased, but she is more suited to pop, or rocky musical, and she is a strong talent, but far to young.I thought at the start Rachel was best choice but she’s not done anything startling the last few weeks, and I think she slipped (out of) the public favour”

Current bookies favourite, Jessie is also not immune to A.J’s criticism.
“(She) can't do the accent or move. lovely voice but no. Way too early in her career, though she will have one. and probably be great. WHY OH WHY are Niamh, Sam and Jessie still in it after Sarah (Lark) was kicked out? Ridiculous. Admittedly she's not very Nancy either but you can't FAULT her performances. Sigh ….

Box office manager, Alan Ferris, too is firmly in the Jodie fan club.
“I believe that she will come across as a strong woman, with honest working class charm and heart. I can believe in her sexual attraction to a Sykes type and her compassion for Oliver. She seems to wear her heart on her sleeve which is an absolute necessity for Nancy. She has the laughter and the life.
Jessie has spent far to much time practicing being a singer with her hairbrush and bedroom mirror - it shows in her stance and that awful grimace she makes while singing. I see her abilities but not her heart.
The others (are) far too young or as in Rachel's case too practiced. So for a true reading of Bart's Nancy it has to be Jodie. Plus they can then say we found a singer and made her a West End Star. Most of the others were or would have been anyway! Jodie is a find! “

But these are the opinions of people who work in the theatre industry (and I must admit I agree with them) . However, I did get a late response from Tony Davies. Now Tony is a chiropodist – not show-biz at all!
“Jodie is the Nancy for me as she has that warmth of character that makes her the surrogate mum for all of those urchins; she's a woman of the world too.Samantha is a little too sweet to be wholesome for the role - she'd be great as Sandie in “Grease”. Rachel could be Nancy, yet she has a hardness of look that doesn't do her justice - she needs to smile more and soften her facial expression a little Jessie is not Nancy because she is too clumsy on stage, cannot dance and curls her mouth in that way that the panel were critical of Craig of in 'Any Dream Will Do', yet none of them have picked up on this. My money's on Jodie!”

So the bookies favourite, Jessie, seems to be scoring low with the facebook fans – with the exception of Debra. I guess this all goes to show that it’s anyone’s game. In just over a week the winner will be crowned and we will know (now that Niamh has been eliminated) which of the remaining four contestants is that lucky winner.

In conclusion? I guess I will give the last word to Debra who says…..
“I say Barrymore for Nancy, better singer, better looking, looks fab in a dress x”

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