REVIEW – TITCO’s Switch The Lights Back On! @ The Wharf Theatre, Devizes – Tuesday 9th November 2021

TITCO Hit the Ground Running

Andy Fawthrop

That’s it – the set is now complete!  Back in August we had the Fulltone Orchestra striking up once again after a long enforced lay-off.  In September Devizes Musical Theatre shyly peeked out from behind the showbiz curtain.  October saw White Horse Opera step out onto the stage, and now, in November, TITCO have finally switched on the lights back on!  And what a delight it was to have them back, completing the fantastic range of local music offerings based in D-Town.

Switched from the earlier venue of St Mary’s to the, perhaps more suitable, surroundings of the Wharf Theatre, TITCO hit the stage with their presentation “Switch The Lights Back On”.  From Chris Worthy’s opening number of “Wilkommen” from Cabaret, right through to the closing ensemble rendition of The Proclaimers’ “Over And Done With” we had a fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable evening.

The two-hour programme included songs from Cabaret, Cats, Jesus Chris Superstar, Sunset Boulevard, School of Rock, Joseph, Spamalot, Billy Elliot, Les Miserables, Hamilton, Once, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and Sunshine on Leith.  The numbers chosen were not always the usual ones from those shows, not always the obvious biggest “hits” that one would normally think of, but great songs nevertheless.  The items chosen, and the sequence of those songs, nicely showcased the individual talents of the cast members, giving most of them at least one solo, with duets and ensemble numbers.  It certainly worked for me.

The staging was simple and sparse, allowing the music to do all the talking.  Dressed all in black, with little in the way of colour or props to distract the eye, the songs were completely to the front.  Musical accompaniment was understated, but absolutely spot-on, provided by Dominic Irving on keyboard, Lou Hewitt on bass, and Becky Nottingham on percussion.  And in front of them, although it’s always a little unfair to single out particular individuals, the stars of the night (for me at least) were Chris Worthy, Mari Webster, Matt Dauncey and Jemma Brown.  But there were strong performances all round.  And I also have to give a special mention to our local Fulltone Orchestra musical arranger and baton-wielder, Anthony Brown.  I’m so used to seeing him from the back conducting his orchestra, that I’d almost forgotten what he looked like, and that he has a wonderful voice!  Respect!

The show’s finale consisted of three songs from “Sunshine On Leith”, the musical by Stephen Greenhorn, based on the music of The Proclaimers, a fitting trailer for the full-length production which will take place at St Mary’s, Devizes next June 2022.

Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable show.  Full disclosure – I’m not the greatest fan of musicals – but even I couldn’t help but warmly applaud this splendid show.  And I was in good company – the audience throughout was loud and enthusiastic in their well-deserved rounds of applause.

The show runs through to Saturday 13th November, and I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending that you get along and see it.  There are still a few tickets left (but not many!) – I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed, and that you’ll have a great night out.  Trust me!


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