Reviews

 

REVIEWS FOR PITLOCHRY FESTIVAL THEATRE, 2015
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST – OSCAR WILDE

THE TIMES, 6 AUGUST 2015 ****
“Line by line, Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece is so familiar that you can almost hear the audience mouthing along to some of the speeches. Yet there is a reverent hush before Margaret Preece, as Lady Bracknell, delivers the play’s most famous line. Will she opt for the time-honoured Edith Evans method of enunciating all nine syllables in the word “handbag” or, as it transpires, something more understated but just as devastating?

Preece gives the standout performance in Richard Baron’s polished production, displaying a remarkable facility for the verbiage while offering rare flashes of playful humour beneath the role of the imperious matriarch who can reduce adversaries to jelly with a gimlet look. The cheeky innovation of this production is that Lady Bracknell is fully complicit in John Worthing’s (Reece Richardson) mild deception of the doting Gwendolen (Emma Odell). When Preece turns and winks at the audience, we sense the rich interior life beneath the whalebone and stiff skirts.

……. Wilde’s deeply serious confection is played out against the backdrop of Ken Harrison’s elegantly detailed scenery designs, which are chewed with relish by Preece and the other members of the ensemble”

THE SCOTSMAN, 25 JULY 2015 ***
“….Richard Baron’s new production is a bold, full-tilt account of the play…. Margaret Preece’s Lady Bracknell is memorably clear and witty”

HERALD SCOTLAND, 23 JULY 2015 ****
“…. Margaret Preece’s Lady Bracknell, a buttoned-up gold-digger who used to be a bit of a one…. There is an archness to proceedings as (the company) play interior monologues direct to the audience in a series of winning turns that capture Wilde’s recognition of his characters’ sheer ridiculousness.”

THE STAGE, 22 JULY ****
“… Then of course there is the towering influence of Lady Bracknell. Margaret Preece may not possess the loud basso profundo vocal qualities often associated with this matriarch, but is nonetheless effective.”

THE TIMES, 14 JULY ***
“Margaret Preece is also moving as Bennett’s Mam, slowly succumbing to dementia but still lucid enough to be intimidated by her son’s neighbour. “With her being educated, I wouldn’t know what to say…” “

 

FLAHOOLEY

Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells, May 2012
“In this fantasy, however, the real highlight is the wonderful Margaret
Preece as Princess Najla, popping up several times with some outrageous
and nonsensical vocal gymnastics, proving once and for all that Yma
Sumac completely defied explanation”

(The Stage)
“Margaret Preece repeatedly stops the show running unlikely coloratura
trills as an improbably operatic Arabian princess” –

 

THE TWO MOST PERFECT THINGS

Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, July 2012
But of the performers, it’s Preece who seems to be having the best time
and whose enthusiasm proves most infectious. Capable of turning on a
dime from goofiness to elegance, she preens delightfully in her early
scenes as Novello’s mother “the second most famous woman in Wales!” and
gets hilariously squiffy on “What Do You Mean?” but delivers “If Love
Were All” and “Someday I’ll Find You” with exquisite tenderness and
control.”

 

KISSES ON A POSTCARD

(Arts & Entertainment North Devon, 24.9.11)
Host parents Auntie Rose (Margaret Preece) and Uncle Jack (James Paterson) are the lynch pins of the story with strong emotional performances and tremendous singing voices.

(North Devon Journal, 29.9.11)
Margaret Preece (as motherly Auntie Rose) demonstrates the impressive vocal prowess you’d expect from top West End singers.

 

DINNER LADIES

(Express & Star, 19.7.11)
The magic of the TV series is given a new lease of life on stage as Margaret Preece and Gay Lambert capture the sisterly bitching of Jean and Dolly.

(What’s On Stage, 9.5.11)
Interestingly, Jean is brought to life on stage by opera singer Margaret Preece, who recently played Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music at The London Palladium and on tour.

(The British Theatre Guide)
Dolly (Gay Lambert) and Jean (Margaret Preece) make an excellent comedy duo.

(Aylesbury)
Margaret has some of the funniest lines and delivers them perfectly, garnering some of the biggest laughs of the evening.

 

SOUND OF MUSIC (MOTHER ABBESS)

(Metrolife)
Margaret Preece, as the Mother Abbess, comes perilously close to blowing away Fisher’s vocal performance.

(Western Mail)
Margaret Preece as the Mother Abbess could probably shatter the chandelier on the on the centre of the stage with her amazing soprano voice.

(Telegraph and Argus)
Was a high-light along with Climb Every Mountain by Margaret Preece, a wonderful Mother Abbess. Her performance of the moving song sent shuffles rippling through the auditorium.

(Yorkshire Evening Post)
But a scene stealer is Margaret Preece as The Mother Abbess who has a glass-shatteringly powerful voice.

(The Portsmouth News)
Vocally the show belongs to Margaret Preece as The Mother Abbess.

(Basingstoke Gazette)
Another outstanding performance is Margaret Preece as The Mother Abbess, who left the audience in awe with Climb Every Mountain as the end of the first half.

(Bournmouth Echo)
But it was Mother Abbess, played by Margaret Preece, who had everyone talking as they left the theatre. Her powerful voice was perfect as she blasted out Climb Every Mountain.

(What’s On In Milton Keynes)
Margaret Preece, who played The Mother Abbess. Preece’s performance was sensational. Her singing looked almost effortless despite reaching the highest of heights. It gave me goosebumps and reduced numerous audience members to tears, including myself and the friend I took along with me.

(Sunderland Echo)
But it is the Mother Abbess (Margaret Preece) who is in danger of stealing Maria’s star crown. Her voice, which brings an operatic tone to the production is breathtaking and makes songs such as My Favourite things and Climb Every Mountain really stand out.

(The British Theatre Guide)
Margaret Preece gives a warm portrayal of the Mother Abbess and a stunning and powerful rendition of Climb Every Mountain to close the first act.

(What’s On Stage)
Margaret Preece’s Climb Every Mountain is worth the admission price alone and her Mother Abbess becomes a pivotal part of the show’s success due to her spine-tingling vocals

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