There is, ironically enough, a lot that’s incredibly old-fashioned about
this particular production benefits from having a genuine star in Joanne Clifton; as the titular Millie Dillmount, she proves she’s as good a singer as she is a dancer
On the plus side, this particular production benefits from having a genuine star in Joanne Clifton; as the titular Millie Dillmount, she proves she’s as good a singer as she is a dancer—although, Racky Plews’ direction and choreography appear determined to pull its punches in this regard at every opportunity. One particularly iconic scene from the original film—featuring a lift that only works if you tap-dance—is included, but is set behind a screen at the back of the stage… making you wonder why they bothered recreating it in the first place.
Ably matching Clifton is this touring production’s genuine find, Sam Barrett; he has the charm, dramatic voice and honest good looks to believably carry the role of Jimmy Smith—and, given that this is his first big tour out of Arts Ed, ably repays the producers’ trust in casting him as the object of Millie’s affections. Admittedly, there’s one occasion when Barrett is understandably overshadowed by Graham MacDuff as Millie’s boss Mr Graydon, whose drunken antics in the second act are a textbook example of how to steal a show. Given that the whole cast appear to have suddenly found their groove (after a somewhat lack-lustre and by-the-numbers first half), that’s a real achievement on MacDuff’s part.