See what the press is saying about White Cobra’s production of Glorious! The True Story of Florence Foster Jenkins by Peter Quilter. Here for one night only – Saturday 24 March at 7.30 pm – make sure you get your ticket! Book online on this website or telephone TicketSource 0333 666 3366. Booking charges apply.
First, Onstage Northants review from 7 March 2018
“Kate Billingham as Jenkins is simply marvellous, She brings the character to life in such a way that it’s easy to see why Florence Foster Jenkins was so well loved. A woman glowing with pride and passions, and ruthlessly pursuing her dream, whatever the cost. It’s not easy to sing badly “well”, but Billingham manages to sit just far enough off-key to be funny without it being painful. Combine that with some hilarious “operatic facial expressions” while she reaches for notes, and you have a wonderful, disastrous performance! Billingham doesn’t play Jenkins as a character to be mocked, as could so easily be done. Instead you find yourself rooting for her to succeed in the face of adversity, falling in love with her a little along the way, just like those around her.
“Surrounding the eccentric leading lady is an equally eccentric group of friends. Fraser Haines shines in the role of Jenkins’ English common-law husband St Clair Byfield; cheeky, flirtatious, a little bombastic, but clearly with his heart in the right place. Richard Jordan as Madame Jenkins’ new pianist Cosme McMoon just about hides his opinion on her “talent”, his vague remarks taken as positive critiques. His little looks to the audience, and winces while she sang revealed his true thoughts, but like the others, he was soon swept up in her extraordinary lifestyle. Florence’s friend Dorothy (Kimberley Vaughan) excitedly basks in Jenkins’ glory, acting as a cheerleader and unconditional support, while Mrs Verrinder-Gedge (Lynne O’Sullivan) doesn’t even attempt to hide her intense dislike and outrage at what she sees as an insult to the arts. Special mention has to go to Victoria Miles as Jenkins’ put upon Mexican cook Maria. While she ranted on in passionate Spanish, much to the delight of the audience, she expressed far more with a well-timed raised eyebrow or a sigh, and never failed to raise a laugh.
“The show features a well-dressed set, which combined with some beautiful costumes is successful at bringing the 40s to the stage. Glorious! is funny, joyous and touching, and in the very safe hands of White Cobra’s talented cast and Ian Spiby’s skilled direction.”
Then, A Small Mind at the Theatre review from 7 March 2018
“..joyful,uplifting and uproariously funny. As Florence, Kate Billingham executes a masterclass of comedy delivery, most especially realised in the musical performances. In the kindest possible way, this is singing of the most ear bleeding quality, and delivered with nuances of facial expressions of magnificence. Richard Jordan plays her pianist Cosme McMoon and his timing of delivery is top notch, making this one of the best performances I have seen from him, close to that of the devastatingly brilliant Scaramouche Jones. His silent reaction to the Cole Porter pansies line is quite brilliant, as is much of his silent exchanges. Fraser Haines is also at the top of his game as Florence’s boyfriend St Clair Byfield, Kimberley Vaughan has great fun as Florence’s best friend and there is a brilliantly ridiculous performance by Victoria Miles as Mexican cook, Maria.
“This whole production plays out on a gloriously constructed set from Rod Arkle, looking everything the 1940s world should embody. Glorious! came as a surprise to me, knowing little ahead of seeing the show, but in the end, it struck me as a heartwarming tale, loving of its main character despite everything and full of many truly funny lines.”