The cast, like a fine soufflé, is full of first rate choices and rises to the occasion in exactly the right way. The singing here is glorious. The Gershwins make a lot of demands upon singers and Williams ensures that every note is hit truly and that the froth and bubble in the music is given full release. The dance routines in Nice Work If You Can Get It, Stiff Upper Lip, I Can’t Be Bothered Now, French Pastry Walk and Fidgety Feet are effortlessly engaging, thrilling to watch. As you emerge from the auditorium, it is impossible not be cheery.
There is an acute fascination in watching the richly intense banquet give way, bit by bit, to the advances of the common folk, to see the lavish table become stripped bare, and then transform into a place for measured debate instead of entitled excess. The wonderful lighting from Bruno Poet only accentuates the lush transition, as does Mary Chadwick’s atmospheric music. The hint of the regally attired Charles and his retinue, like a gorgeously detailed ghost, hovers in the background – there, but not there.