A song and dance about Sweet Charity

ALTHOUGH less well-known than other musicals, the forthcoming Banbridge Musical Society show promises some classic songs and unforgettable dance routines.

Sweet Charity, ‘the adventures of a girl who wants to be loved’, features songs such as ‘Hey Big Spender’, immortalised by Shirley Bassey, ‘The Rhythm of life’ and ‘If My Friends Could See Me Now’.

Set in the hippy days of the 1960s, the play was first shown as a stage musical in 1966 and then as a film in 1969 starring Shirley Maclaine.

Sweet Charity is a poignant and funny look at the misadventure of the gullible Charity Hope Valentine, a dance hostess living in New York who always seems to give her heart and her dreams to the wrong man.

In next month’s show, the part of Charity is being played by Banbridge girl Lorraine Jackson-Brown, while Derryhale girl Emma Woods plays Charity’s friend Helene and Andrea Price her friend Nicki.

Charity’s love interest is Oscar, played by Declan Moore, who also directs and choreographs the show.

Portadown woman Diane Hamill, chairperson of the society, is one of around 12 dance hostesses in the Fandango Ballroom. She said, “The musical probably isn’t as well-known as others such as Calamity Jane or Ollver but it’s very young, fresh and fast-moving and contains some terrific songs and dance routines, including the Rich Man’s Frug.

“There is a cast of up to 40 and a 14-piece orchestra. We are all rehearsing very hard as we have five performances, which is a big commitment, but we are hoping to get all the seats filled.”

Banbridge Musical Society, which was formed about 60 years ago, produces two shows a year, with the one in spring being the more serious of the two. It is adjudicated by the Amateur Irish Musical Society, which judges shows throughout Ireland.

There will be five performances of Sweet Charity, which will be staged at Iveagh Movie Studios Banbridge from Tuesday, May 18 until Saturday, May 22, at 7.30 each evening.

Tickets cost 10 and are available from the Iveagh box office on 4066 2666. For group bookings, contact Christine on 4065 0723 or 078025 65478.

New members are always welcome. The society meets for rehearsals each Monday night at 7.30 at Bridge Primary School, Banbridge.