Review: CARNIVAL DREAMS the Musical

  • Date : 28th January 2016
With an ensemble cast that dance well together, there is an evident energy to the show, and it is also clear that Book and Lyrics writer Norman Mark and music composer Robert Orledge may of drawn inspiration from West Side Story.
Despite the problems with the sound, crackles and various volume variants., the audience were treated to a show about love. drag, murder, self sacrifice and human relationships.
As a lead Cheryl Fergison proved that she could carry the part. Her character suffers in silence, victim of a loveless marriage and bully of a religious fanatic of a husband , all she wants to do is to care for her daughter and keep the peace.. Her performance is actually very admirable and she does her best to work with , at times a mediocre script. There are moments of pure goodness  and Kit Esuruoso as Duarte and Connie Jackson as Cristina as the Romeo and Juliet of the musical give good solo song performances and drive the story.
However it’s Tom  Whalley as drag star Carmen that is
allowed to shine the most, in  the  true spirt of  an actor   that is having a ball playing the role and scene stealing every scene he is in. At times the show does come across as very cliched when it comes to dealing with regret , lost chances and diversity issues. The back stories do pad out the main story  adequately . Act 2 does see the  need to push the passion button  ramped up however this comes at a price and the inclusion of slapstick style comedy number  actually adds to the abruptness of the scene links. It is to Ms Fergison’s  credit that  when she acts out her solo melt down sequence she is prepared to dig deep, go there and  as all her years of pent up anger , disgust  and aggression  come spilling out like milk boiling  over on a stove.
Carnival Dreams is entertaining and you have to believe that dreams can come true and everything will be alright in the end.
3 Stars
Stephen Vowles
Call the Ashcroft Theatre Box Office on 020 8688 9291 and quote £10.00 OFFER.

*Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Subject to availability. Bookings must be made by phone or in person.

Ashcroft Theatre,
Fairfield Halls,
Park Lane,
Croydon. CR9 1DG

Wednesday 3rd to Saturday 6th February 2016

Evenings at 7.30pm
Saturday Matinee at 2.30pm

Box Office: 020 8688 9291



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