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September, 2003
Too Hot to Handel under review
Too Hot to Handel
Too Hot to Handel at The Old Fire Station Theatre

Simon Tavener admired the dedication and ambition of Opera Anywhere's Too Hot to Handel, but found the cast struggling with their parts...

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Too Hot to Handel is playing at
The Old Fire Station Theatre on
Friday September 12.

Opera Anywhere is an enterprising company of singers from the Oxford area.

They show commitment, innovation and enthusiasm in all they do.

Too Hot to Handel is their latest 'confection', combining the glorious music of Handel with the slapstick humour of 'Up Pompeii'.

The plot is somewhat complicated (but not always coherent) but provides moments of farcical entertainment.

Too Hot to Handel
Too Hot to Handel proved hot indeed for these two actors.

Much use is made of visual gags and the cast display great energy.

The music of Handel can be very demanding for any singer. The vocal performances were the strongest element of the evening. In particular, Lucie Goodman sang 'Doppo notte' (from Ariodante) with panache.

Mention must also be made of the elegant tone of Jeremy Bowyer and the delicate control of Annabel Molyneaux.

Acting is a challenge for many singers and I have to admit that, on the evidence of this performance, it is something with which many of the cast are struggling.

However, Brian Todd was entertainingly larger than life as the comically camp slave and Emily Campbell was suitably outrageous as the flirtatious wife.

Too Hot to Handel
A scene from Too Hot to Handel.

There was much to enjoy but not, perhaps, as much as I would have liked.

I do admire their dedication and wish them well for future projects.

If they can find the right material, I am confident that their undoubted talents will shine through.


By Simon Tavener

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