Mame at Hope Mill Theatre
It’s 1928 New York; Mame Dennis is enjoying a fabulous life of wealth and partying; her brother dies, and she is delivered a nephew, Patrick, to bring up…and then the Great Depression hits. From singleton to guardian, riches to poverty, this is the extraordinary story of Mame and how she meets the challenges of life head on.
Hope Mill Theatre have, once again, pulled out all the stops with this sumptuous production, starring the legendary Tracie Bennett in the title role. Bennett is perfectly cast and delivers an award-winning, emotional performance, relishing her society girl image, whilst clearly loving her nephew and bringing him up in her own inimitable style. Bennett’s big personality is ideally matched by Harriet Thorpe, who is hilarious as best friend Vera and equally as brassy; their rendition of Bosom Buddies a particular highlight. Young Patrick tonight was played by Lochlan White, who has a stage confidence beyond his years, and an impressive CV for one so young! Philip Whitcomb’s design makes the most of the depth of the space, and it was great to see that the band, who are usually hidden away at Hope Mill, are an integral part of this staging, playing Jerry Herman’s classic score. The large cast impress with the ensemble moments, and whilst not all the numbers may be known, everyone will recognise the upbeat, and surprisingly emotional, We Need a Little Christmas; and for regular visitors to Oscar’s on Canal Street, The Fox Hunt/Mame act one finale will take you back to subterranean nights on the gin.
This is a sparkling production, destined for London and beyond. Mame Dennis comments “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”. Don’t be one of those suckers; get to Hope Mill’s banquet and feast on the deliciousness of this production.
Garry Thomas-Lowde for Canal St Online
Hope Mill Theatre: Sep 28th-Nov 9th 2019 Tix here