The Mystery of Edwin Drood
This marvellous production demonstrates beyond doubt that the depth of talent we have in London is astonishing. Sedos (the Stock Exchange Dramatic and Operatic Society, founded in 1905) have put together a show of West End quality. The self-confidence, versatility and sheer joy of performing shown by every cast member is inspiring and uplifting. With very limited resources they turn minuses into pluses, overcome every challenge with aplomb and deliver entertainment with an unmatched joie de vivre… It would be hard to improve on this. Catch it if you can.
In my eyes, Sedos is fast developing a reputation for staging shows which easily match the quality of many of the productions that the West End has to offer right now. With a phenomenal cast and perfectly executed musical numbers, it’s no mystery why I found this show so thoroughly entertaining.
When the Rain Stops Falling
Sedos have once again managed to gather a group of talented performers who embrace the challenges of this complex narrative where younger and older versions of the same character share the acting space… this is an ensemble piece, with all cast on stage at all times. Their seamless joining up of the scenes as they move through time and space is brilliantly executed and allows the audience to follow the complexity of the plot with ease… The multifunctional set with hanging window, large oval table and useful blocks either side of the stage, provide the perfect vehicle to allow the scenes to flow seamlessly between past and present. The beautifully choreographed opening when the cast move from the gallery, armed with umbrellas and coats that are deposited on a hat stand, the simplicity of the costumes which suit the period and keep the audience aware as the scenes move through time, all worked together to help create a show that totally engages the audience… It is the sound and lighting, however, that really draw together the different threads and keep us aware of the fact that this is a play whose themes resonate through the generations… Bovell’s play is not for the faint hearted and it is to the credit of the performers, director Helena Bumpus and assistant director, Lloyd Smith, that by the end of the production, as all the characters gather together, the loose ends have been woven in and we see the complete picture
Sedos’ production does a wonderful job leading us through the puzzle, ensuring the experience treads the right line of mystery without confusion… Of particular note is the immense production value of this ‘amateur’ show. The borderless set supports well the fluidity of the piece as it drifts across time and space. The lighting is inventive and atmospheric, accenting the narrative structure with flickering lights as we cross a boundary into a different storyline and providing starry nights in the Australian outback. Music is used deftly throughout the piece, binding the different worlds with a perpetual stormy underscore and swelling cinematically at key moments. These all came together well to elevate the show into the relatively cavernous space at the Bridewell… this was a solid production of a challenging play.
Transitions between scenes, and discipline with regards to the movement of characters in and out of their parts is highly commendable, which is directed by Kimberly Barker, along with the lighting use that faultlessly works in conjunction with this. To imitate snow or stars, and with other appearances throughout, lighting designer, Olly Levett, does a lovely job with navigating these. The thunder and lightning that accompany the constant rainfall is a fitting addition too.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
The production reaches the extremely high standard I have come to expect from Sedos with a cast of 20 and a 15-piece band really bringing the story out in fine style. There was a lovely chemistry between the leads which made their interactions feel natural and real… Sedos have been one of my favourite production companies for a long while and after the last months of lockdown and online material, it was wonderful to see them come back with a bang with this production. Director Zoë Thomas-Webb, Choreographers Jonathon Grant & Fiona McConachie along with Musical Director Chris Nelson, ensured everything ran smoothly and the highly energetic pace of the show was maintained throughout
What a job they’ve done! “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” is by far one of the best Sedos shows I’ve seen. This might be an amateur group but there’s nothing amateur about this production. Another Sedos Triumph!
Rob Archibald delivers a dazzlingly confident central performance as Lawrence showcasing brilliant comedic timing as well strong acting and vocal chops. Joey Henshaw as Freddy is an equally capable stage partner who fully thrusts himself into the physical comedy aspect of the role… After my last visit to the Bridewell Theatre, I left raving about Sedos’ stellar production of Ragtime. Here I am two years later to confirm that they have once again raised the bar. Sedos’ Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a scheming, head-reeling yet endlessly appealing musical production
Sedos, one of London’s best-loved community theatre companies, has given us numerous highly successful award-winning productions including "Pippin", "Urinetown" and "Earthquakes in London". This latest venture must surely be a powerful contender for further awards… I absolutely loved this show! It has everything you could wish for in a musical. Good stage direction combined with excellent vocals and great choreography make for an excellent production.A great evening out – another night to remember for all the very best reasons!
A great musical production telling of everyday lives, hopes and dreams. With searingly honest lyrics and heartfelt emotions it showcases the people who go unnoticed or aren’t given due credit, but who are often the foundations of our lives. Wonderful performances and well worth a visit! … It soon became clear that this was well beyond your usual amateur dramatic affair… The eight-strong cast are all exceptional, each taking on multiple individual roles and joining together for choruses. The staging and costume are sparse but effective, and this simplicity allows the focus to remain clearly on the actors… Having seen and felt sadness, despair, joy, pride, regret, the audience leaves on a high note.
The cast was made up of 8 performers, each taking on so many different roles within the show that I lost count, they all went from fronting a number one moment to being a vital part of the ensemble in another performers number the next. Often in shows with casts around this size there are one or two forgettable performers but this was not the case in Working. Not only can I picture all of the cast easily now but I can tell you which occupations they played throughout the show, a testament to how engaging each of them were individually… I would also like to commend Sedos for the racial diversity on stage. I know Sedos have been working hard alongside other London am dram companies to improve the racial diversity of their society and this commitment paid off in this show. Working is a show that needs to reflect America and that includes having performers of colour on stage in order to stay true to the heart of the show and I was pleased to see that Sedos did just that… The transitions between the numbers were well thought out by director Jacob Hajjar and and I enjoyed how they flowed seamlessly into one another, avoiding any unnecessary and long blackouts. This kept the pace snappy and helped the show have a more cohesive feel… Tess Robinson was the movement director for Working. Her strongest moments were the stylised moments, in particular the repetitive movement that the factory workers performed during ‘Millwork’ and many of the movements performed during ‘All The Livelong Days’ to symbolise different professions. Working is a show rarely put on so this is a great opportunity to see songs by the likes of Schwartz and Lin Manual Miranda performed and with Sedos at the helm they take you on a journey of emotions from empathy to laughter but most of all leaving you able to relate to those on stage.
Sedos as ever have gathered a cast of fantastic talent… overall the production is pacy and entertaining. Beautifully directed by Jacob Hajjar this is another great performance from Sedos.
Ophelia Thinks Harder
Ophelia Thinks Harder is the most grown up, clever – and very thoughtful – play I’ve seen in a long time. Full marks to Sedos for staging it with such aplomb – and under such difficult circumstances… The script is as good as anything by Stoppard.... A challengingly ambitious play for a non-professional company but this is Sedos...and it comes off very successfully.... Harding-Moore is a fine actor in a huge role who really makes you think about the plight of women at all points in history. And I’ve left Josh Beckman as Hamlet until last because he is outstanding… Definitely one to catch if you can.
Making a welcome return to the Bridewell Theatre after 18 months of postponement due to lockdown, Sedos demonstrated that there has been no loss of talent, professionalism or production value in the intervening period with Ophelia Thinks Harder.
This highly entertaining production is a fine example of the extraordinarily hard work that goes into every Sedos event. A great night out!
The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)
On any level Sedos production of The Musical of Musicals, The Musical at the Bridewell, is a fantastic night out, whether you are a musical aficionado or just someone looking for an evening’s entertainment… Ultimately the strength of this show lies with the six cast members. Emma J Leaver, the director, has found performers with confidence in their own versatility, who really throw themselves into the range of styles and characterisation needed to play all these parts… This show is a great way to forget about storms, elections and coronavirus and just lose yourselves in the magic of the musicals on a wintery February evening.
Daniel Saunders’ Jitter goes from a cross between Sweeney Todd of the Stephen Sondheim musical of the same name and George from Sunday in the Park with George to the title character in The Phantom of the Opera. His isn’t the only one displaying versatility – Laura Ellis’ June channels her inner Eva Perón in such a way that nobody would be crying for her, whether from Argentina or otherwise. Joseph Dickens’ Billy, meanwhile, is as comfortable as a cowboy as he is as Evita’s Che. Completing the cast are ensemble members Lucy Spreckley and Alex Yelland, who are both superb.
In the West End and Broadway, musical revivals and celebrity casting are becoming the big-ticket and there is often a real lack of creativity and newness. The Musical of Musicals (The Musical) however provides light relief and is a real homage to all that has gone before whilst also feeling new and fresh. The result is a real spectacle that celebrates musical theatre while making fun of it in a satirical show that is a must-see for any musical theatre fan.
Whether you are the most well-versed musical theatre fan you know, or think you remember seeing that film with Julie Andrews and the singing children on a hill once in your youth, this show is a theatrical education fit for all, delving into the works of the musicians who have shaped the musical theatre world we live in today… The Musical of Musicals is a complete night of feel good entertainment, with the satisfaction of seeing and hearing your favourite musical theatre works laid out in front of us. It’s all strung together with great songs, clever gags and a cast who have perfected the ability to deliver a solid performance whilst simultaneously being able to take the mickey out of themselves.
Many groups would not be able to cast this show, let alone put it on stage, but Sedos can do so and with verve and invention in Matt Gould’s pacy and intelligent production, managing his cast of 32 well and ensuring that the complex storyline is at all times as clear as possible. MD Ryan Macaulay conducts an 18-piece orchestra and it is a delight to hear this score played so well and in these orchestrations. Choreography from Victoria Louise-Currie and Rachel Elfassy-Bitoun is nicely differentiated for the various groups and makes good use of the multi-layered set.
This is a truly outstanding production, lively, slick and colourful. Although Sedos describes itself as “amateur” there’s little doubt that their attitude to every production is totally professional.
Sedos manage to execute a perfect reading of a challenging score with multiple scene transitions.
Sedos have achieved another high class and polished performance in Ragtime. It managed to move me from anger to sadness and send shivers down my spine throughout.
There is too much good about this production to sum it all up in one short review but if you are a fan of the bombastic in musical theatre. Ragtime is a must see and you never know when you might have the opportunity again with such a rarely performed work. Sedos have bravely taken a risk on this one and it has paid off in spades. An accomplished piece of theatre executed by an accomplished group of peoples whose love of the art shines through in everything they do.
This Sedos production is a marvel and is not just an excellent amateur production. It is genuinely one of the best shows to grace a London stage this year.
It is shocking to me that this production is Amateur Dramatics, as the quality of the performances, the costumes, lighting, orchestra, and production quality is very high.
An orchestra of eighteen and a cast of thirty-two is impressive for the West End these days, let alone amateur dramatics. The production team is worth a mention as well, for several reasons… It is difficult to balance out the sound with a cast and an orchestra as large as this, but the techies here do a remarkable job, with not a single lyric or line of spoken dialogue missed thanks to each and every microphone functioning as it should throughout.
Sedos have created a captivating and heartbreaking production which should stay with you long after you leave the theatre. You’d be hard pressed to find such an abundance of talent elsewhere in the West End.
As a long-time fan of Sedos, I was excited to be able to attend the first night of their first full dance production… Rest assured, my expectations were exceeded on both counts as the evening unfolded into a masterclass of dramatic contemporary dance which fully captured the themes of seduction and revenge of the original play. Each Sedos season showcases a range of plays and musicals, from popular, well-loved classics to lesser-known and newer works which can challenge both cast and audience. Their weekly Sedance class obviously attracts enthusiastic and highly competent dancers, and the decision to use this to add a new artform to their repertoire was brilliant and will hopefully herald more in the future. I can only add that they have set the bar very high with this one… It was a fantastic experience to be in the performance space with the dancers, feeling their every breath, absorbing their energy and watching the skill of their performance. Congratulations to everyone involved for the faith in what you were creating - you achieved what you set out to do with bells on!
A performance of this style is incredibly ambitious for any professional dance troop. What makes this more impressive is that an amateur dramatics society created all of this. Sedos are known for their incredibly high-quality shows, but Dangerous Liaisons has put them on a whole different level. This production with these incredible performers would not be out of place on a West End stage.
The dancing is gorgeous, athletic and very expressive. The performance space is tiny, so you are up close and personal with the dancers/actors, and they absolutely carry you along with the story… Sedos is an amateur company, but there is nothing amateurish about this show – it’s ambitious, clever and exciting, but also beautifully economical and precise.
Produced by the technically amateur Sedos theatre company this is another production from them which deserves a transfer to the West End. It’s a smart, witty and thoughtful play, beautifully acted and staged.
A hearty and sincere production, it’s a more complex story than the traditional fairy-tale from which it is adapted, but it’s a lively and engaging one at that.
A Swell Party
This production, a Minack debut for Sedos which usually performs just off Fleet Street, classily directed by Roger Harwood and Dawn Harrison-Wallace, dances us through his amazing, sometimes outrageous, ultimately poignant life story, on a triumph of an Art Deco set designed by Steven King… This is glamour with bucketfuls of fizz, and a feeling of extravagant luxury washes over us as the Sedos singers seemingly effortlessly swing through around 50 famous numbers with on-stage pianists, musical director Matt Gould and Ryan Macaulay, the brilliant Annette Brown tooting and drumming, and the Minack’s executive director Zoe Curnow having her own party on double bass. Matt and Ryan are a delightful duo, tap dancing too, with narration by the ultra smooth James Franey as Cole, joined by Liz Flint as his wife Linda in shimmering emerald silk, backed by Stephen Beeney, Susan Booth, Rachel Elfassy-Bitoun, Will Garood, Deborah Lean, Yvette Shiel and Alex Yelland.Producer Lizzie Levett, choreographer Jane Saunders, sound and lighting Adam Coppard and Olly Levett, and stage manager Andrew Laidlaw and team make it all so believable. When’s the next party?
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Quite simply, the show is wonderful and should serve as a shining beacon throughout across the entire non-professional sector. Whether you see the same show produced at at the Union Theatre, Young Vic, Charing Cross Theatre, Jermyn Street Theatre or any other professional off-West End/Fringe venue, it will not get any better than this. Amateur groups around the capital pay attention; this is how to put on a musical! This fifty-eight-year-old show (which also played the West End in 1963) makes a fitting return to London and is probably as close to earning a ‘professional’ tag as you can get.
A magnificent cast make nonsense of their amateur status performing with charm and humour. A basic but still adequate set is the only sign of Sedos’ amdram status. Even so, I’ve never seen such rapid set changes with props moved into place so quickly you wouldn’t have noticed them. This is a production that could easily be dropped into the West End without any noticeable difference; a thoroughly professional production that ticked all the right boxes.
Sedos’ production of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying is a great chance to see this musical, with bundles of comedy and a cast that excel in getting their character across I would recommend getting yourselves down to the Bridewell Theatre.
Once again, Sedos have a hit on their hands. The level of this show is something that you would expect from a London production. The fact that the cast is made up of amateurs that all have separate day jobs makes it even more impressive.
After the Dance
Overall, this is an entertaining and thought-provoking revival that does justice to Rattigan’s neglected work.
The production, typical of Sedos, is more professional than their amateur dramatics moniker might imply, and is certainly one to consider if you’re a nearby City worker keen to take in some fringe theatre that certainly punches above its weight.
Next Thing You Know
Sedos have a reputation for delivering West End quality in every production, and it certainly shows here. The work that has gone into the show is visible in every second, from the slick set changes, to the choreography, to the songs, Sedos pull out all the stops to present a fantastically designed, well performed evening’s entertainment with a few kooky interactive elements thrown in.
An impressive set, a solid cast and imaginative immersive theatre made for a fun night out.
Interspersed with song and with a very cleverly designed set that allowed the bar to also be an office and a bedroom with very little changeover or delay, the production was as close to top quality as I’ve seen in a while. Mix this up with the skilled acting and comfortable immersive experience and I would confidently recommend Next Thing You Know. A very enjoyable evening’s entertainment indeed.
Sedos never cease to amaze with their production values, creating polished shows that you forget are by an amateur company. For NTYK, the theatre is transformed into Sullivan Street Tavern in New York. Mingling at the bar with the regulars until last orders is rung to get the audience into their seats, the ambience is brilliant, and the set design team deserve at least 10 stars for their authentic and detailed realisation of a bar that is instantly recognisable to anyone who watches New York set TV shows. The staging is wonderfully thought out and director Dan Saunders has created a special atmosphere.
I can think of few amateur companies who would, or could, take on the challenge of Brecht’s first play but ever-versatile, adventurous Sedos have staged it with confidence, verve and a lot of talent.
As is the custom with Sedos productions the cast, whether in a small or large part, are all first rate and work so well together whether singing, dancing – choreography by Kim Barker – or moving Andrew Laidlaw’s wonderfully versatile set around. Given the commitment of everyone involved, it must be great being a director at Sedos and Yojiro Ichikawa has got a fantastic cast, great set and excellent lighting by Olly Levett all working together seamlessly to bring Urinetown: The Musical to life… Get a ticket, take a seat and sit back for the happiest couple of hours you are likely to have this side of the festive period.
Sedos’ new production of Urinetown is yet another example of why they should be considered one of the best amateur companies in London, if not the country… I feel as though this review is slightly too glowing but honestly, it’s a struggle to find fault. For a show that charges under £20 per ticket, this is a superb night out with plenty of bang for your buck.
Sedos have created a fantastic production, very cleverly staged in the round and with minimal set which allows for a very fluid production that keeps incredible pace throughout. The direction by Yojiro Ichikawa was fantastic, getting the most out of his cast and theatre, using every possible entrance to make sure the audience is pulled into the show… The Musical Direction by Ryan Macaulay was equally as impressive, with a great sound being produced by the band alongside flawless harmonies from the cast. The powerhouse of voices created a purely superb resonance with apparent ease; a delight to the ears of the audience.
Dogfight is a charming yet gritty show about many shades of the human experience, from jubilant banter with friends, to romantic rejection, to the harsh reality of war.
Sedos are to be commended for giving us the chance to see such a good production of Dogfight The Musical. Catch it if you can!
It’s 45 years since I saw Pippin in the West End, and while the themes are certainly still current, the style and the devices can feel a little dated. Chris Adams’ compelling production, especially at the end, cuts through the tricks and the whimsy to achieve a genuinely moving piece of drama.
If ever a show was crying out for a large scale return to the West End, then Pippin is the one and, my advice is to all the members of Sedos, give up the day jobs and take it there.
For my money the show is good enough to transfer West, half a mile up the road. Certainly, many of the cast could have a second string to their bows in the commercial theatre any time they wanted.
Pippin is a triumph… highly recommended.
It was not good. It was very good... Go to the Bridewell and give some support to these guys. They deserve it!
The whole production is more polished and entertaining than many professional shows… In the hands of Sedos, Pippin is a gem of a musical.
You Can't Take It With You
I’ve seen a couple of productions from Sedos now and each one of them has really impressed me with the quality of the performances and attention to detail in the staging, and with You Can’t Take it With You, they have delivered another first-rate production.
Sedos has never been, and never will be, just another ‘amateur’ company! Their work stands out dramatically in so many ways. They achieve the highest possible standards on stage whilst nurturing the skills of their very talented team of players, directors, set and costume designers… Another outstanding performance! As in all comedies timing and teamwork are the vital ingredients and Sedos are experts at timing. They successfully maintain their American accents throughout and their attention to detail, particularly to costumes and set design, is excellent.
What a pleasurable and delightful play this is. I could go on at length about certain aspects in this production of You Can’t Take It With You that don’t make a lot of sense, but rather like The Addams Family, the eccentricities are what make the characters in this bizarre and chaotic – but nonetheless hilarious- so compelling and unique.
Earthquakes in London
It is unfortunate that for too many people, the epithet “amateur” in relation to theatre remains redolent of inexpert performance in draughty church halls by well-meaning performers of limited talent. The reality is that for many groups nowadays, there is an almost invisible line between so called professional performance (ironically not necessarily of the highest quality) and other productions which are only amateur in the sense that participants have not been paid. Sedos specifically states in its programme notes that they “strive for professional standards in both performance and production values” and it is fair to say that they have a well-established reputation in achieving that ambition which has once again been reinforced by this production of Earthquakes in London.
All told, this is another great production from Sedos that makes you stop and think about what we are doing to the earth and if we shouldn’t be trying something different so that by the year 2525, man will still be alive.
The absolute bravery, or maybe insanity, of director Chris Davis to stage this play in an amateur production makes it all the more incredible. And that mention of amateur is the only time it should be raised, because believe me, there is absolutely nothing amateur about this production.
Huge congratulations must go to the whole production team for putting on a fabulous show. This show is a MUST to see and would recommend to anyone.
This show was directed with “big show values” – it had colour, glamour, a powerful orchestra, very clever set design and beautifully contrasting performances.
Our Country's Good
Strong production of modern classic.
I think this production of Our Country’s Good is the best non-professional 'straight' play (musicals are a different animal) I have ever seen. Of course that’s partly down to the strength of Wertenbaker’s timeless, topical, funny, poignant, horrifying text. But it’s also a huge credit to the talented Sedos cast and their director, Chloe Robertson.
It’s easy to forget that Sedos are an amateur company – their production values and talented casts are always of such a high standard. Sedos’s production of Our Country’s Good, 30 years on from it’s Royal Court premiere, is another stunning success.
The Drowsy Chaperone
This is a brilliant, brilliant show that has always deserved to be seen. In the case of this production, more so than ever.
The Drowsy Chaperone may be categorised as an amateur level production, but it didn’t show. The quality of this production was fantastic and truly entertaining.
I feel as if I am constantly saying this about Sedos, but they really have got amateur theatre right and the Drowsy Chaperone is yet another example of this.
Little Women The Musical
The beautiful set design for Sedos’ production, the sheer talent of those playing the March sisters and the clever direction means that I took this award.
On realising that I was going to watch an amateur production I embarrassingly didn’t have high hopes for this production of Little Women the Musical – however, within the first few lines, I was proven very wrong. The Stock Exchange Dramatic and Operatic Society – better known as Sedos – are an amateur company who I now realise deliver professional standard productions.
Watching [Jonathon] Cooper’s character progression and journey throughout the whole show was, I felt, a master class in acting.
What is immediately apparent is that the ‘stars’ of this show are the designers.
As always, Sedos deserve top marks for their production values.
Priscilla Queen of the Desert
A quick exit-poll on the audience provided comments such as 'exuberant', 'brilliant', 'didn't want it to end' and 'you'll regret not seeing it.' My favourite has to be 'very pink and gay, but the best kind of gay.' Congratulations to Director / Costume Designer Angus Jacobs, Musical Director Ryan Macaulay and the whole creative team. It might not be as glittery or explosive as a big-budget West End version but it's just as fabulous.
Overall, then I guess it’s pretty obvious I enjoyed Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Sedos have put together and delivered a first-rate show that is fun with a capital ‘F’ and entertaining with a capital ‘E’ from start to finish.
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Sedos have once again achieved an end result to be proud of, a truthful, funny musical bursting with talent.
Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On
I would give the show as many stars as possible and think everyone in London should see this show… I encourage, urge and plead with you to go, because I guarantee you will not have seen anything like this before. Whoever is in charge of awards that the folks at Sedos would be eligible for, book your ticket now!
Such Stuff as Dreams are Made on is absolutely fantastic… a truly fantastic show that will play with your mind and blow you away from the moment it starts until you once more leave the building and re-enter the real world which, for a while will seem a little less colourful than it was before.
I applaud Sedos for taking a risk and producing this little known show and encourage those who want to spend the night laughing at inappropriate jokes to get themselves along to the Bridewell.
Whose Life Is It Anyway?
A riveting couple of hours… this is a thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining piece of theatre about a highly sensitive and controversial subject.
A real triumph for Sedos.
An outstanding performance of an extraordinary musical.
I’m fast running out of superlatives when discussing the ongoing virtuosity of Sedos.... A sublime piece of theatre.
A very stylish and smart production of an intriguing gem of a musical... [Sedos] creates something that is touching, funny, uncomfortable and thought-provoking.
One Man, Two Guvnors
I have seen quite a lot of Sedos productions over the last few years, and their shows are of a consistent excellent quality. They are undoubtedly a collection of extremely talented directors, actors and performers. One Man, Two Guv’nors upheld that high expectation and did not disappoint; the show was of professional standard with even the smallest parts giving consistent high quality performances.
Sedos is an amateur dramatic company, but the acting is easily on par with the professional show I saw previously. In fact, having seen Sedos in action before, it seems they are once again blurring the lines between professional and amateur theatre. In particular, they prove that the quality of a show is determined by those involved – and not whether anyone is getting paid.
The result is an irreverent, apt, ever topical musical… it’s in excellent hands with Sedos which, as usual, achieves a near professional standard… A jolly good evening’s entertainment, then. All credit to this production and all who sail in her.
Sedos delivered the production in a classy manner with an incredibly strong cast in everything from their characterisation to music and a strong visual feast for the eyes.
Sedos are one of the countries best amateur dramatic groups.... I do admire how versatile Sedos can be from stunning productions of musicals...to clever and infrequently performed plays such as Pornography.
And with a whole week still to go I cannot urge you, no… plead with you, no… beg you enough to clear your diaries and get down to the City of London this coming week for one of the funniest evenings in theatre you’re ever likely to experience.
Sedos represents everything an amateur society should be and we can unanimously say this is the best amateur musical we have seen. Ever. (And we’ve seen rather a lot...).
Into the Woods
[Sedos has] pulled it off at the Bridewell Theatre, which is given more depth and texture than you’ve ever seen courtesy of a vast, twisting set of trees and grassy paths and wooden walkways. This, along with a fantastic orchestra led by Ryan Macaulay, and incredibly solid direction and choreography, are the details that elevate it from other amateur and short run productions into the realm of quality fringe.
The whole production was visually stunning… Director Matt Gould gave us a production that had a good pace, plenty of humour, some original touches and a brooding sense of menace…Each actor gives an outstanding individual performance but the sense of the cast working as a team is never lost… truly impressive performances all round… Sedos certainly lived up to their premier status with a production that leads you on a fabulous journey down a twisted path to a breathtaking conclusion.
If Sedos has taught us one thing, a tall order is never impossible for them... Sedos has created here a hugely fun production, combining experienced directing (Matthew Gould), excellent musical direction (Ryan Macaulay) and fantastic casting... Like a fairy-tale playground in a deep dark forest, set designer Steven King’s creation was astounding. Along with production designer Rebecca Turner, costume designer Deborah Lean and the team that put everything together this production was nothing short of visually spectacular.
The set is a wondrous creation by Steven King... The first act reveal of the titular woods was the first of many times I was glad I’d packed a handkerchief. Added to this is a phenomenal 15 piece orchestra under the baton of conductor and musical director Ryan Macaulay playing Jonathan Tunick’s orchestrations in all their original glory. Director Matthew Gould and choreographer Gayle Bryans marshall their enormous cast with steady inventive hands and produce something akin to magic and to hear some of Sondheim’s finest songs backed by a full orchestra is worth the price of admission alone.
The large cast works well together in what is truly an ensemble play, acting and singing with skill and enthusiasm... their performance puts many professional productions to shame.
As usual Sedos has its audience eating out of their hands in the first ten seconds as once again, their professional attitude shines through in this memorable performance… strong musical direction by Ryan Macaulay presents Sondheim's distinctive harmonies and tongue-twisting lyrics at their best… Steven King's set design is just extraordinary. Every inch, from floor to ceiling, of the Bridewell Theatre's performance space, has been used effectively. It's worth seeing this show for the scenery along… Sondheim is not an easy sing and most amateur companies would shy away from it so I take my hat off to anyone who can perform it as well as Sedos.
Heaven Can Wait
This humorous play is full of laughs reminding us of the working man ethics of the 1940s. Sedos give this production their all. High production values and consistently focused performances by the entire cast make for an outstanding performance. Praise must also go to the designers for their simple, but extremely effective scenery, and to the crew for the smoothest of scene changes, as one comes to expect with a company of this calibre… As usual – an outstanding production… With plenty of challenging productions every year, ranging from drama to musical theatre, nothing frightens this aspiring company whose well-deserved reputation in the world of amateur theatre comes from sincerity, dedication and very hard work.
Sedos certainly takes the spirit of the piece and entertained the audience with a sizzling production and a great night out. From the opening number when the scantily clad ladies of Japan burst onto the stage to the grand finale the company combined set, costume, staging and lighting with some brilliant performances to provide an excellent night out…
In a time of talentless reality TV shows, spending a Saturday evening watching some genuine talent is a breath of fresh air. Observing such an obviously hard-working cast put together such an effervescent show is exciting and thrilling, making this the light-hearted fun that musical theatre often misses the mark with. You’ll have ‘Three Little Maids’ stuck in your head all week…
This production of Hot Mikado by the Sedos theatre company is a little jewel that you should not miss and that hopefully will find a bigger showcase and a re-run (a longer run!) at the Bridewell Theatre or, why not?, a bigger location! (anyone reading there???)… The run (for now) is short and you should not miss it but I am pretty sure someone will notice this show and hopefully we’ll get new dates. It really is worth it — get your tickets…
The cast remain totally focussed throughout the show. Their tight harmonies and excellent diction combine with strong and varied dance routines to give us a thoroughly enjoyable and beautifully costumed performance. Sedos know exactly how to capture an audience, hold it firmly in the palms of their hands, and then send it on its way, humming those compulsive ear worms – the catchy tunes you just can’t get out of your head…
As soon as the play began the commitment of every actor hit you in the face with every inch of stage swarming with character, character that as the play progressed and actors doubled up on parts, was never lost. Every line, every performer… absolutely deserved their every moment and created a performance well beyond the level of the amateur theatre… So many performances stood out… All the costumes were beyond fantastic and Deborah Lean’s mixing of military, Scottish and the Elizabethan was seamlessly done, including the translation of set design to costume… Final praise, however, has to go to Chloë Faine’s directing. Also credited as designer, her vision is seamlessly woven through performance, costume, blocking, set design and everything else. This production was meticulously thought out, and it shows… Sedos has set theMacbethbar exceptionally high.
Praising a production for the quality of the costumes, design or special effects is sometimes seen as rather a backhanded compliment. While this can be true, it is easy to forget that theatre is a visual medium, and so such elements are a legitimate part of the spectacle. In the case of Sedos’ Steampunk inspiredMacbeth, at the Bridewell Theatre, the production values are far beyond anything else you are likely to see on the fringe stage. Indeed, they put large parts of the West End to shame…Director Chloe Faine and Matt Gould (who produced the show) should congratulate themselves on a job well done, along with the rest of the cast and crew.
A Man of No Importance
As an example of total theatricality, I think it is very hard to better this show… the whole cast demonstrated a particularly high standard of singing and the accents were accurate (I commend Sedos for seeking help with this often-overlooked aspect) and consistent… in summary this was a very fine production of this very fine musical.
The show is very much an ensemble piece, and it seems invidious to single out single performances, when there really isn’t a weak link in the cast… Congratulations to all involved.
The acting is top-notch, as one expects from Sedos… These are alternately funny and disturbing vignettes, excellently played by a confident and talented cast.
…there are no weak performances… the show is definitely worth seeing. Director Jacqui Adams has produced a show that will linger in people’s minds, and one [that] again confirms Sedos’ status as a company known for putting on provocative drama.
This is quite simply the best amateur production I have ever seen… Any director worth their salt would be proud of what Stanex and choreographer Kimberley Barker have achieved… It goes without saying that the role of Jesus is crucial and Joe Penny, a researcher at the New Economics Foundation in his day job, is astounding. Many a West End performer should count themselves lucky that they are not up against this immensely talented young man when auditioning for professional shows… as an ensemble [the supporting cast] are faultless…
Pulses with unflagging energy… The ensemble work in this show is outstanding. The cast takes ownership of the whole playing area and often the auditorium as well as the side entrances… The slickly professional movement work is a great credit to choreographer Kimberly Barker and really shows how a company of the calibre of Sedos can seriously blur the difference between professional and amateur work.
This production confounds expectations on every level.
These are seriously good actors, working hard to make the play work in a style that is always in danger of disappearing up its own backside, as plenty of similar productions have done since this style of theatre appeared half a century ago (or should I say ‘reappeared’, since the similarities with classical Greek tragedy are striking). The fact that it didn’t fail is testament to the talent of the actors and the cojones of director Andrew Marchant… I don’t think Sedos intended to give its audience an easy ride, pushing theatre as far as they could. This style of theatre isn’t for everyone, but, taken purely on its own terms, Gormenghast was an unquestioned success.
Guys and Dolls
In the grand scheme of amateur, fringe and professional musicals, this cast perform to the absolute max with passion and humour throughout. Moreover, everyone looks like they’re having a great time doing it. London audiences should take notice of Sedos, as its creatives are clearly more than capable of giving their professional neighbours a run for their money.
The bar for performance level has been set so high by countless previous productions that every new interpretation of the piece has a daunting task to match expectations and standards. Sedos… rose to the challenge with a confident, sure footed, vibrant and stylish performance, and emerged with full honours.
…an inventive, energetic, comedic and enjoyable musical because of the love of the material and attention to detail. The small space is home to a big ensemble of talent, expertly choreographed by Thomas Leonard in such a way that regularly leaves the audience breathless… This is a high-quality production of a favourite musical…
As You Like It
The Stock Exchange Dramatic and Operatic Society excels once again with their innovative and unusual one-hour production of Shakepeare's As You Like… The production has been designed and executed in a truly professional manner demonstrating there is no shortage of highly talented players active in amateur theatre.
Told by those who evidently have a deep set understanding and respect for the text, the story is excellently executed so that not a line is out of place or superfluous to their storytelling cause. The overall design was incredibly creative and brilliantly executed… There are no weak performances from any member of the cast, each an integral link in a strong company… Sedos is so close to being professional it hurts. Outstandingly polished performances, brilliant direction and joy in creating theatrical masterpieces makes these young actors ones to watch.
Sedos’ version of this classic play is silly, sweet, and very witty.
Sedos… produced a production that not only had incredible production standards, but left me wondering why this gem of a show has been languishing for so long… Musically, the show was kept bouncing along under the baton of David Winters, whose 5 piece band were superb… Major kudos must go to Sedos for nurturing and producing what can only be called a stunning production. I just wish it were running for another week so I could go at least a few more times. Baby left me with a lump in my throat. It exceeded myevery expectation and left me wanting more. Exceptional!!
Within thirty seconds it was very obvious that this is no ordinary amateur company. The Sedos production ofSpring Awakeningwas executed in atotally professional manner leaving little doubt that amateur theatre can be every bit as good as professional theatre, and in this case, even better.
If this high standard can be achieved from evening rehearsals from a cast of enthusiasts then I think producers and actors across the profession may need to pull their socks up and take note.
The entire cast were completely and utterly mesmerising; lively, engaging and full of energy. Every single cast member gave a strong all-round performance, but it was the singing that really made this a night to remember, the harmonies absolutely gave me chills… this production of Spring Awakeningis smart, sexy and seriously packs a punch. Don’t miss it.
[Spring Awakening is] performed by Sedos, a well-established amateur company who strive to produce theatre which can stand shoulder to shoulder with professional productions. In that,Spring Awakeningsucceeds admirably.
Chris Warner (director) and Max Wolf (creative director) should be justifiably proud of this production. They have chosen not to carbon copy the original production but instead create their own vision and that is to be applauded… on the night I attended, mature adults were visibly moved to tears.
There is little evidence of Sedos theatre company's amateur status in its charming production which neatly balances the characters' loneliness and frustration with a sense of hope and humour.
As the first show of 2012 for Sedos, Three Sisters rewards before it begins, by presenting the audience with a stunning set... the scale of the thing was impressive... The use of the depth of the stage at the Bridewell was a brilliant and brave move on the director's part, giving opportunity to place the actors as a framed piece of art.
A Little Night Music
[Sedos] should be credited as one of the premier [amateur] companies in the country, as their track record for staging professional-standard shows proves… it was a genius stroke by co-directors Roger Harwood and Dawn Harrison-Wallace to stage the entire show as a flashback… the casting was difficult to fault… [the cast] all did a great job of bringing the show to life… top marks must go to the costume team for their fantastic work… [musical director] David Griffiths and his musicians gave a performance grander than many of those you'd hear in West End theatres… Congratulations again to Sedos for another great production…
Masterful in both dramatic and auditory terms…
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
Billed as an amateur production, the Sedos’ cast are anything but. The clever staging and superb costumes only amplify the wonderful work being put in by the actors… A production that does real justice to the writing and ethos of the play, this is one you will be loath to miss…
The amateur production I refer to was the very professionally staged version by Sedos… As dry and as sterile as this group may sound (bankers, dancing?), the talent involved was phenomenal… The cast, for one, was perfectly formed… everyone did a fantastic job, all the more incredible when you realise that this was an amateur production…
Sedos’ reputation for bringing high-quality productions to London’s off-West End theatres goes before them and if their production of Assassins is anything to go by, it is a reputation they truly deserve… the accents, excellent vocals and good characterisation were held throughout by each of the lead performers and the ensemble players too…
Assassins is rarely staged well and you be hard pressed to find a better amateur production. Kudos to Sedos!!
The simple set worked well for both times and was believable… It is always a joy to go and see well acted and well directed theatre… The audience could tell [the actors] understood what their characters were saying and why they had to say it… All the performances were strong and retained their originality… Overall a great piece…
Kiss of the Spider Woman: The Musical
Sedos is generally, and I would say correctly, regarded as the best amateur theatre company in London… And so I had high expectations of the opening night… In short, it's fantastic… kudos to Sedos for an unconventional selection which has been pulled off in (their now trademark) style…
The Tragedy of the Prince of Denmark
An intelligently adapted version of the play...and a slick use of multimedia.... Worth a watch whether you're a seasoned Shakey fan or a newbie.... manages to bring some interesting & original touches to an obviously heavily recycled show.
Adam Moulder as Hamlet impresses.
Carolina Main as Ophelia is excellent. She lifts the language while still retaining the very modern, ‘realistic’ style of playing chosen for this production.... an interesting adaptation and likely to stimulate debate among those who know Hamlet already.
(An) unorthodox approach to this story of a highly unorthodox man.... The use of the Grotesque Chorus in demonstrating bits of back-story is clever, and unique choreography by Leigh Tredger and Angus Jacobs allows the chorus to transition effortlessly from individual entities into one concise unit. Still, the highlight is the playful, satirical humour that courses through the first half and is at its finest when Rochester, Sebastien Blanc as George Etheredge, and Mark Macey as Charles Sackville share the stage. Rebecca Weymouth’s fine portrayal of Jane is also of note.
Luke Trebilcock is outstanding in the physically and emotionally demanding lead role, creating a wholly credible seventeenth-century libertine. James Hannant’s low-key witty vulgarity as Wilmot’s down-at-heel servant strikes a pleasingly ironic note, and the ...delectable Brooke Petersen is utterly convincing as the earl's mistress and inept stage-actress.
This production boasts a cast who are able to hold together a stirling ensemble and a rapturous vocal performance.... the vocalists of Sedos are easily able to match the force and accuracy of any West End ensemble, and with rousing flair.... A wonderful set of costumes are atmospherically lit by fiercely stark beams and the band is simply superb.
A riveting production... Musical Director Matthew Gould has obviously worked a great deal with an already very gifted cast, and it has paid off. From Richard Ash’s opening lines to the last note of the piece, Parade is beautifully and emotionally sung... The second act’s ‘All the Wasted Time’ is breathtakingly good, and if there was no other merit to this production, it would be worth seeing for these few brilliant minutes alone.
The brilliance of Festen is that it completely undercuts and exposes our dependency on social niceties.... The success of Anne-Marie Leigh’s production of Festen at the Bridewell owes much to the simple elegance of Bronia Kupczyk’s set design. As Christian, Panny Skrivanos is a tall, brooding figure, though not an unkind one. He is...well-matched by Craig Karpel as Helge, a small, wiry man with a big smile and enormous charisma. The scene in which he calmly lists his son’s childhood crimes and history of mental instability is chilling both in its blitheness and the utter sincerity of Karpel’s delivery.
Talent and scrupulous attention to detail.
It was fantastic – every bit as good as the West End version, and much more enjoyable than Rent: Remixed!
I thought the staging was excellent.... There are some really powerful vignettes. Cartwright’s language is beautiful and moving at times as well as very funny at others; in particular, there are several poetic monologues which were the real highlights of the evening. Skinlad played by the excellent Darren Hannant, gives a visceral and genuinely scary account of his transition from violent skinhead to desperate Buddhist.... excellent Matt Matravers...excellent performances from the Sedos cast.
Sarah Boyes gave a fantastic performance. The role involves a huge range of emotions, accents and physicality and she made it all look effortless. Having seen amateur dramatics before, I never expected such a great performance.Best “Am-Dram” I’ve been to in years, will definitely see more by Sedos.
I've always loved the show...Sedos do such a great job...I was really impressed at how slick it was...and that was the preview. The whole thing just flowed. I can't quite believe they are an amateur company... I don't think I've ever seen a musical at the Bridewell with such high production values. Isn't it about time this show had a West End revival?
A good performance which can stand comparison with the best the professional stage has to offer
Compared with its big brother on Broadway, this production outshined its big-budgeted Big Apple sibling for a surprising number of reasons. Don't miss the dark side: "Sweeney Todd" lives and breathes one punk rock ripped organism one would not want to meet in a dark alleyway, though that's where it happens to shine.
Merrily We Roll Along
As compelling as the Donmar's [production] a few years ago
Mickey Killianey was a convincingly likeable and human Franklin Shepherd - oxymora, if ever two were more apparent! This was no mean feat and also overcame one of the difficulties of the piece: that we meet the main characters at their worst and so do not find it easy to empathise with them as, or until, they become nicer/younger in the second act… For me the hero(ine) of the piece is Mary. Mary is the glue that makes sense of the relationships and really breaks your heart with Not a Day Goes By, even though you think Beth (Bridget Cross) had already done that on the steps of the divorce court. And here Chloë Faine got my vote from the opening; here was a woman who had been on a journey and I wanted to witness it. Right on cue my heart was duly broken - again.
Fantastic play - really absorbing. I thought it was one of the very best plays I have ever seen. Will Harrison-Wallace gave an outstanding performance
Completely riveting and gobsmackingly good acting - pulls no punches, a dark glimpse into the sides of people we'd rather not see. Still get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it! NOT TO BE MISSED!
Dark, shocking and compelling - I loved this play! The performances were outstanding - which helped create the desired audience involvement in an almost voyeuristic way! Very clever, and thoroughly enjoyable!
The Shape of Things
Ohmigod - I can't believe this isn't in the West End. It's completely compelling! Don't go to some rubbish musical in some huge barn of a theatre - go and see this instead and see what theatre can be like when people really put their hearts into it!
It was a scorching hot and stuffy Tuesday evening in The City; it was going to take something pretty spectacular to make me sit still for 3 hours in a sparse, humid basement theatre. Needless to say, it was and it did! Thoroughly entertaining; a super performance by all concerned. Thought provoking and entertaining.
Superb show! One of the best things I have seen in London for some time. Pitched perfectly, and cleverly reworked for a British audience. Great performances all round, with special mentions for Jenny, played with a bubby sexiness, and a phenomenal Adam, who was played with a subtlety and likability that made the final scene absolutely heart wrenching. I was riveted throughout - and I only found out afterwards, that this was an amateur company! The west end better pull its socks up!
Much Ado About Nothing
Clever and funny
City of Angels
Bobbi/Gabby is phenomenal and both the stones/stines are gorgeous
Absolutely Fantastic - only found out in the interval it was an amateur production! I'd have never realised otherwise! All performances were excellent, but especially impressed with Bobbi and Buddy. Brilliant!
Sedos's production was cleverly directed by Roger Harwood, making great use of the space and artfully supported by a tight, nine-piece orchestra and superb Musical Director. Ensemble work was superb – the cast were all working together and most importantly, listening to each other which is a must for any of Sondheim’s musically challenging pieces...it was an entertaining, admirable effort for which Sedos is to be congratulated.
Six Degrees of Separation
In Luke Simond’s production John Guare’s highly polished exploration gets some added emotional charge from strong performances by Katey D’Ancona and Joespeh Coelho
Sexual Perversity in Chicago
It’s ferocious rude stuff, smartly delivered in Matt Harrison’s production
Jekyll & Hyde
The cast give enthusiastic performances ... David Griffiths' musical direction produces strong chorus pieces and solo performances. Direction, from Dan Chasemore and Chloe Faine, results in all cast members maintaining their characters within and between scenes.