12:29pm Friday 17th January 2014
By Kate Wilson
WELL bless my beautiful hide! I’m not sure if I have ever left a theatre feeling so exhilarated.
The latest stage production of the 1954 musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers delighted audiences at the Bristol Hippodrome this week.
Amid some technical mishaps on opening night which bought the show to a halt twice the cast shone through and kept the audience clapping, toe-tapping and finger snapping to the very end.
Dancing on Ice champion Sam Attwater, and Helena Blackman, best known for being runner-up in BBC1’s How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, shine in the leading roles of Adam and Milly.
But it was the choreography that stole the show, thanks to acclaimed Broadway director Patti Colombo mixing some of the well known dance moves from the film with some new ones which included a shirtless dance number with the six brothers.
There isn’t a weak link in the 20-strong plus cast, and when in full song and dance the tale based loosely on the Stephen Vincent Benet story Sobbin' Women was one of the best shows I have seen.
Adam, the eldest of seven brothers living on an isolated farm high up in the Oregon mountains, goes to town to get himself a wife.
Convincing Milly, whose parents died on the Oregon Trail, to marry him that very same day, he forgets to mention he has six other younger, rowdy brothers and they all live together.
Shocked at first Milly then decides to reform the uncouth siblings, who are anxious to get wives of their own – which is when the magic of the performance really starts to shine through.
Watching the six brothers learning to dance and act like gentlemen was one of the funniest parts of the show and this humour only continues when they meet their female counterparts and attempt to win them over.
When their attempts are thwarted big brother Adam convinces them to steal the girls from their homes and take them back up to the mountain after telling them the story of the Romans and the Sabine women.
Watching one of the brothers attempt to capture his bride with a giant bear trap is part of the fun and the humour of the show which is reminiscent of the MGM film.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is packed with 16 timeless classics, including Bless Your Beautiful Hide, A Woman Ought to Know Her Place and Goin' Courtin' as well as two new songs never heard before in any UK stage version of the show.
Musicals can unfortunately sometimes only be remembered for their songs – but this show was packed full of talent across the board from singing to dancing and acting - and this delightful production will be remembered for all three.
The show runs until Saturday. Tickets available from www.atgtickets.com
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