Seven Brides for Seven Brothers musical opened up in the newly refurbished York Theatre Royal on Tuesday 28 June and will be available until the Saturday 9 July. Here’s what we thought of this performance of a true classic.
By Josh Orme
With the backdrop of the newly refurbished York Theatre Royal, their production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was a resplendent cocktail of comedy, drama, and song. Set in Oregon in the 1850s the story followed newlyweds Adam Pontipee and Milly Brandon (pre-marriage) as they endeavoured to find suitors for Adam’s six dishevelled brothers. The play consisted of a strong cast in every aspect of performance with risk-full and intricate choreography, well delivered and projected lines, while also consisting of some upbeat and excellently sung musical sequences.
This stage adaption of the original MGM film features fan favourite songs such as Bless Your Beautiful Hide, and Goin’ Courtin’, these flawlessly performed inclusions made for an up-tempo and enjoyable musical experience that promoted audience engagement, especially during the rowdy tap-dancing finale. Said songs were performed by an array of the cast, with stand out performances from the two leads, Matthew Ainsworth and Emma Dickinson who portrayed Adam and Milly respectively. Accompanying these arrangements was a brilliant live orchestra, conducted by Musical Director Philip Redding. The precise and harmonious tones of the orchestra were present throughout the performance, one well-implemented aspect was their use of music during the seamless scene transitions; this filled the void and was very effective in the upkeep of audience engagement, and setting the tone for impending scenes.
It is clear that fine attention to detail and a fondness for the play were major factors in director and choreographer Martyn Knight’s vision of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, with effectively used focus lighting, and sound effects, the efforts of production co-ordinator Eric Daines, and sound technician Tom Smith did not go unnoticed. This production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers made for a fun-filled and enjoyable evening of laughter, with a hearty spattering of romance and drama, and judging by the reception it was surely an audience favourite.