Reviewed by the Isle of Thanet Gazette 01/04/11 (2011 Performances)
WATCHING Drinking With Angelika at the Granville Theatre on Thursday, March 17, I was reminded of the first time I saw Evita. Here was a powerful show with such a strong narrative and lyrics that the fact that it was an original musical with 14 specially composed songs was almost incidental.
Indeed, in Angelika, Margate-based Heath Woodward took on both the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber roles and more: producer, director, composer and lyricist. He also played the role of Daniel Hughes. Like Evita, I didn't initially come away humming any tunes, but many were catchy and on repeat playing could soon be memorable.
Asked why there weren't copies of CDs available to buy at the end of the show Heath said: "People can download the recording for free. I want people to be able to enjoy my music without worrying about the cost."
This was the second year that Heath has staged Angelika, tweaking it here and there to craft a musical worthy of the West End. Without revealing the plot to those who might watch another performance (for this is a musical that would stand an annual outing) it is a thriller cum morality play in song - a rock opera with a gutsy plot. What are the motley collection of people doing in Angelika's bar? The answer doesn't disappoint. Hannah Dyer and Amber Goldney shone in the lead roles of sisters Angelika and Angelina alongside the effervescent Joe Dryden, a compelling Gabriel who dominated the stage well.
Stephen Porter, Michael Cooper, David Hands and Hannah Brinning gave good supporting roles, dealing well with the confusion their characters required. The girls from *Stagecoach theatre school, choreographed by Samantha Taylor, played the dance group White Odyssey with conviction.
This is Heath's third musical and he is now working on his next. If he follows the same formula it will be one to watch.
Isle of Thanet Gazette 1st April 2011.
* Website Editor's correction:
"The girls from Stagecoach theatre school" The dancers were all auditioned locally and from various dance clubs and schools.