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Roy Harris of Taplas

reviews The Navvy's Wife by The Navvy's Wife Cast

MICK Ryan has one of the best singing voices to be heard: a virile baritone with a wide range and an enviable note?holding ability. He also has a flair for musical dramas that stick in the memory, with songs that can step out of the score and live elsewhere. Past efforts like The Tolpuddle Man illustrate this. Now we have another one, telling the story of the canal?digging navvies and their women.

The focus is on the female viewpoint, reflecting on their men's tough and difficult life, absences from home, fidelity or otherwise and performed by a stellar cast doing full justice to his work.

Judy Dunlop, Heather Bradford and Jackie Oates handle their songs beautifully. Each has a voice of quality. The males play and sing in fine style too: Ryan, Paul Downes and Roger Watson live up to their reputations triumphantly.