This week I saw “Sweet Charity”, the classic American musical of the 1960’s over at The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England.
The leading lady Kaisa Hammarlund who plays Charity Hope Valentine packs a punch throughout, she is captivating and utterly lovable, driving the show forward effortlessly.
Watching the entire ensemble, who are all stupendous, is a joy with each having a stand out moment. Performed in the round the audience sees the story of girls working to earn a dollar “Hey, Big Spender” fooled by their own hopeful dream of escaping and going on to better things, but sadly that never happening… except for Charity.
Charity holds on to that dream and pushes herself for it, she is tirelessly looking to be loved with an undying optimistic outlook to life. A truly resilient and fearless character but played by Hammarlund with such honesty, vulnerability and utter fragility, that she leaves you wanting to run on stage and hug her!
With glorious, well-known songs throughout and beautiful choreography, Derek Bond, production director, provides you with enough 60’s wholesomeness that you are left feeling joyful and alive, but the “seedy” world in which Charity works is aptly a sultry red and arousing.
“The Rhythm of Life” firmly stands out at the opening of Act 2, performed and sung by Josie Benson this show stopping moment left the audience uproariously applauding with several on their feet!
This show resonates with today’s society as our leading lady is longing to be loved – it seems today we are all longing for the same thing. The show left me reflective on the things that we do in-order to make others happy, all in effort to be loved.
Charity left me with the upbeat optimism missing so often from this world – I will be returning to see it again for more!
You can catch it until January 28th 2017 at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.