THIS production of Spring Seasonal Sauce currently running at the Watermill is the 26th edition that Helen Watson has presented, and she has announced that this will be the last in its current format.
Seasonal Sauce has been running every year since 1987 in the old time music hall tradition — think of TV’s The Good Old Days back in the Seventies and you have a clue — and the packed audiences over the years have been testimony to the affection in which this tried and tested formula is held.
In this slightly updated version, master of ceremonies Clive Greenwood has forsaken his gavel and his dictionary of long words intended to baffle the audience, and instead offered stand-up comedy between the acts, ensuring non-stop entertainment.
Ensemble numbers featuring well-known favourites from yesteryear were punctuated by songs — both comic and straight — by members of the company, and delightful instrumental medleys on the ukulele and violin from Andy Eastwood. The audience rocked with laughter at the comedy numbers in Judith Hibbert’s excellent tribute to Gracie Fields, and particularly enjoyed Helen Watson’s “milkmaid” as she inveigled an unsuspecting member of the audience into performing a number with her.
In her programme notes Helen Watson says: “I have been delighted to present a new show every year since 1987. I hope you will have fun and enjoy this year’s presentation.”
Well, the audience most certainly did have fun, and joined in with the singing at every possible opportunity. It may be the end of an era at the Watermill, but Miss Helen Watson knows how to go out with a bang.
lSpring Seasonal Sauce runs until tomorrow, Saturday, February 9. Box office 01635 46044 or visit www.watermill.org.uk