GUYS and Dolls is one of those shows that reserves most of its gems for the second half.

WOW – Witham Amateur Operatic Society’s junior section – took full advantage of that in their annual production at Witham Public Hall, a year later than planned after the Covid interruption.

Take Back Your Mink, led by Hannah Ireland as Miss Adelaide, Sky Masterson’s plea, Luck Be A Lady, with Jenson Bacon in the lead, and the showstopper Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat, which gives centre stage to Will Hackett’s Nicely Nicely Johnson, all bounced off the stage.

The more poignant Marry The Man Today brings Hannah Ireland and Viv Possee together in a touching duet that rounds off the action before the whole cast jump back on stage for the rousing final chorus.

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It was a show full of energy and colour, with the male characters in suits of bright red, orange, purple, green and yellow.

Fraser McLauchlan and Ben Rolph were as bright as their suits, swapping repartee and anguish as the situation demanded.

The script includes a few too many unnecessary fripperies that extended the first half to nearly 90 minutes but once it got going, the WOW talent shone brightly.

• The annual Helen Temperley award for loyalty, hard work and a sense of fun’ was won jointly by Emily McNeill and Ben Rolph.

Ron Fosker