Forget pointy hats and broomsticks, it was stockings and stilettos all-round as the über glam Witches of Eastwick flew into The Watersmeet last week.

Inspired by the wickedly lascivious Jack Nicholas film, the musical is an ambitious show to stage as it demands outstanding leads. As luck would have it, Harrow Light Operatic (HLOC) is replete in that department and was able to pull a rather magical show out of the hat.

While the soloists dazzled, they were let down by considerable technical problems. Sound distortion affected some performers more than others, it undoubtedly took the edge off the production.

The largely forgettable musical score, though tightly conducted by Clive Swann, does tell the story and some numbers were rendered incomprehensible by the decidedly mulchy sound quality.

Chris Clarke was nothing short of astonishing as the devilishly flamboyant Darryl Van Horne. His formidable voice and mouth-watering stage presence ensured that his relentlessly energetic and wry characterisation was the performance of the night.

In hot pursuit of plaudits were the witches themselves; Julie Lilley (Alexandra), Marie-Louise Williams (Jane) and Emma Bowles (Sukie). As the director sailed tantalisingly close to the wind in the cleverly constructed seduction scenes, the risqué trio flirted dangerously with propriety whilst delivering their vocals with power and precision.

Praise too for Karen Lancaster as the truly repugnant Felicia Gabriel and for Phil Gibbs as the delightfully comic Fidel. Simply spellbinding.

Fleur Wright ****