Wednesday 21 February 2018

Review: Me and My Girl, National Concert Hall

Me and My Girl
Me and My Girl
Me and My Girl, National Concert Hall

Pat O'Kelly

The Rathmines and Rathgar Musical Society is reviving Noel Gay’s ‘Me and My Girl’ at the NCH this week. Last seen in 2002, the current production celebrates the musical’s 80th anniversary.

Enjoying considerable success when first seen in London in 1937, it had a three-year Broadway run.

The cheery show revolves around the cockney costermonger Bill Snibson who, inheriting a peerage, becomes one of the landed gentry. There are amusing complications en route but ‘all’s well that ends well’.

There are traces of Gilbert and Sullivan, Shaw and even Coward but this does not detract from ‘Me and My Girl’s’ own individuality. It is highly entertaining and the ‘R and R’ sees it as such.

Director Noel McDonough ensures the piece moves at a spanking pace and is assisted by Marina Kealy’s vibrant choreography with colourful costumes adding to the visual appeal.

The large cast is led by with extraordinary verve by Ian Rountree as Bill Snibson aka the Earl of Hareford. There is something of Norman Wisdom in the versatility of his engaging capers and the elements of slapstick in his routines are done with impeccable timing.

Yasmin Missaoui is his pert cockney fiancée Sally Smith who, a la Eliza Doolittle, becomes his lady of the manor and is sweetly tender in her haunting ‘Once you lose your heart’.

Supporting roles also make their mark not least Sandra Kelly Wade’s imperious Lady Maria and Jimmy Dixon’s henpecked Sir John. Ciara Lyons is the flighty Jacqui and Christiaan Feehan the hilarious Gerald.

Conductor Gearoid Grant relishes the music and ‘The Lambeth Walk’ has the audience clapping to its catchy beat.

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