Make the Studio Theatre one of your Ports of Call

Preview by Paul Nelson

THE Wimbledon Studio Theatre, a hothouse and nursery for tender seedlings in the theatre, has, under the direction of its Head of Development, Jonathan Kennedy, made a significant move.

It is to present its very first in-house production for one week from February 18 to February 22.

During that week Ports of Call, a musical tour of the respectable and sometimes seedy late-night bars of Europe in the last century, will feature a mix of songs written by the likes of Abba, Brecht, Brel, Sondheim and Weill. The evening will encompass the well-known as well as the recherché material of these writers, be they lyricists or musicians.

Some of the material, I am told, really is rarely heard, and the show combines the nitty-gritty side of life as well as its sometime darkly humorous aspects.

It is an evening of songs in various languages. The songs will be performed in German, French and English, with their respective musical styles. I personally think I can map out the event in advance.

That is not to say that I will not enjoy this stroll through the past that I have long tried to forget. There really is something magnetic about nostalgia, and I know the old joke that it ain't what it used to be. However, it still does revive so many fragments of memory that basically we all like to wallow in it.

As to the present show, following their sell-out run of 'Brecht - A Foreign Affair' a couple of years ago, Gertrude Thoma and Nicholas Bloomfield return to the Studio joined by William Ludwig. The show is directed by Boris Boskovic.

Boskovic deserves a bit of attention. He is a Croatian actor/director and has been working in various London theatre spots for the past eleven years, including The Rosemary Branch, The Gate and the Royal Court. His work has previously been seen at The Studio.

Gertrude Thoma has trudged through the mill from The Rocky Horror Show to Hamlet - I ask you!

William Ludwig is a singer and actor from Germany and Nicholas Bloomfield is a native Londoner, a composer, MD and founder member of The Gloria Theatre Company.

Ports of Call. A Wimbledon Studio Production. With Gertrude Thoma, William Ludwig and Nicholas Bloomfield.