The Glee Club set in 1962 in the heart of the South Yorkshire coalfields is the tale of the Edlington Colliery’s six-man male choir as they prepare for the big Gala performance. Driected by Tessa Walker and written by Richard Cameon The Glee Club runs until the 8th October.
Billed as a 'hilarious comedy', there were very few laughs in this dreary, dated, tale about six South Yorkshire miners who form the Edlington Colliery's Glee Club.
The set was as bleak as the script, a simple backdrop representing a locker room at a coal mine, in which the actors hacked away manfully in a brave attempt to breath some life and laughs, into a rather dull and unispiring tale of closet homsexuality (who cares?) and the on-off relationship of the youngest member, Colin Marc Pickering with another members daughter and her eventual abortion.
The Glee Club themselves where actually very good with some sweet close harmony singing. I enjoyed this so much so that would have actually preferred more singing and less dialogue. However, I found it difficult to form any sort of bond with any of the actors, especially Bant Anthony Clegg who was cast as the heavy drinking hardman, a lot of his lines where lost in the cavernous space of the theatre, he just left me feeling cold.
Scobie Sean McKenzie was at least breathing and believable as the most bigoted member of the club when it was disclosed that the musical director Phil Michael Chance was, shock horror, a homosexual and that scene was the highlight of the night because it woke some of the audience up from thier slumbers.
Hopefully The Glee Club will be better received in it's native South Yorkshire then it was in the East Riding because my sympathy really went out to the six actors who toiled to bring this play to life.