By Ray Bennett
To stage a Stephen Sondheim musical gives pause to the best in the business so top marks to the Ringwood Musical & Dramatic Society in Hampshire for tackling “Follies” and carrying it off with flourish.
One of hundreds of regional theater troupes around the country, RMDS seldom shrinks from a challenge under president John Truman, and veteran director Pete Talman made a bold decision to present the show in the round.
Cast member Julian Peckham observed in the program that “the show has proved a big challenge for all: from production crew to choreographer (Cindy Wischhusen) and musical director (Jane Lee), and not least the performers.” All the more reason to celebrate their success.
The cast featured RMDS leading ladies going back to the 1950s including Annette Arnold, Poppy Garvey, Rosemary Guy, Anne Maynard and Anita Rosser. They each had some time in the spotlight and, boy, did they deliver.
The show tells of two loverlorn couples as youngsters and in later life. My brother Richard Bennett and his son Ali Bennett, played Ben Stone. Chris Grant and Victoria Richardson were Phyllis Stone. Chrissie Peckham and Samantha Laurilla played Sally Plummer and Julian Peckham and Luke Beavis were Buddy Plummer. They were all splendid and so were the rest of the large cast.
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