REVIEW: Emotional ending as performers bid farewell after nearly 70 years

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A sad chapter in our local theatre history came to an end last week, when the curtain fell on Market Harborough Musical Theatre (MHMT) after nearly 70 years.

The group is hoping to reform in a few of years time if the interest is still there, but for now is it farewell from the MHMT. Their final performance was ‘Anything Goes’ (music and lyrics by Cole Porter). Here is Vivien Window’s review from the April 8 show:

After 68 years of being the chief amateur musical theatre company in Market Harborough, beginning as the Operatic Society in 1949, the MHMT has disbanded. A sad occasion. I have seen 69 of their productions, from early Gilbert and Sullivan to Sondheim, and I shall miss them. Where will our budding stars from the dance schools go to, if they choose not to risk all by becoming professional? Amateur theatre serves a useful purpose apart from pleasing audiences. Times change though, and costs escalate.

They chose to go out on a cracker. Cole Porter is perennially loved and this show was noteworthy for great song and dance routines, and a very funny, (if silly!) story line. The star of the show was a perfect choice. Heidi Coleman has been a MHMT member for 23 years, and has just got better and better. The lovely voice, dancing and comic acting from this home grown girl were a credit to the Society. All the principals had good voices. Some were already known to us in Harborough, Rachel Fletcher, as Bonnie, has a dazzling smile you don’t forget! However I was amazed to discover that James Wallace, as the very comical Sir Evelyn, was making his stage debut. We do wish them all a happy career in musical theatre in the future. The chorus, of all ages, gave their usual staunch support. There was so much talent on that stage.

At the end the musicians finished long before the extended applause. It continued longer than any I’ve heard in the town. No one wanted the show to finish.

It was the end of an era.

Review by Vivien Window.