Girlfriends In Concert
Howard Goodall’s Girlfriends In Concert by LMTO
Girlfriends is a musical by Howard Goodall that is rarely performed. Written in 1985 it tells of the women on the WAAF, the Women’s Auxiliary Airforce. It focuses on a group of 5 women including best friends Lou and Amy who both fall for the same pilot Guy. It is a show about friendship and the sacrifice that these women made during the war.
The casting of this concert is absolutely top notch. It was jam packed with West End stars as well as a few people that I may have not heard of before but more than kept up with their colleagues. Lucie Jones played Lou and Lauren Samuels played Amy and their numbers were delivered with heart and sincerity. Lizzie Wofford, a performer I had not had the pleasure of seeing before played Woods, the woman in charge of the likes of Lou and Amy. Wofford had a brilliant presence, immediately setting herself apart from the other women as a figure of authority as well as a strong vocal quality.
Rob Houchen played Guy, the figure of Amy and Lou’s affection. Hs voice is perfectly suited to this type of music, a classic musical theatre voice that simply soared in the Bishopgate Institute’s Great Hall.
The orchestra, conducted by Freddie Tapner was on great form, with a new arrangement by Simon Nathan which brought out lovely jazz refrains in some numbers as well as a more classical sound where appropriate.
Whilst I can rave about the cast and the orchestra I can understand why this piece isn’t performed more. Unfortunately many of the songs are repetitive and whilst there are some beautiful melodies within them they became difficult to distinguish from the other. In addition to that as the dialogue and much of the narration had been removed the plot at times was hard to follow. In particular the relationship between Guy, Amy and Lou left me slightly perplexed.
Girlfriends was a concert that was performed to perfection but unfortunately the source material didn’t quite hit the mark for me.
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