The Pajama Game, Headgate Theatre, Colchester.

First produced on Broadway in 1954, the musical centres around the Sleep Tite Pajama Factory, where tensions between the staff and their tight fisted boss have reached a critical point, with a minor raise of seven and a half cents being refused. On either side of the row are Babe, representing the workers on the Grievance Committee, and Sid, newly appointed supervisor. Of course, they fall in love, fall out, and then get together in a plot as thin as the pajama cord on a well used and well loved pair of bottoms.

But this production is staged by Platform musicals, a company I have long held to be the group that always look as if they’re having the most fun, and the same is true here. They have so much energy and enthusiasm, half of Colchester’s energy supply could come from them. It’s fair to say there were some loose elements, particularly the act two opener Steam Heat, which needed tighter choreography. But there were some very good performances that kept the audience entertained throughout.

As Babe, Helen McCraw was a delight, perfectly nailing the character and singing superbly. Thomas Pleasant did a good job as love interest Sid, capturing the guy next door image very well, and the show threatened to be stolen by a succession of good comedy performances. These included Jayne Sheeran as Gladys, particularly in the song Hernando’s Hideaway, Graham Bowden as her jealous partner Hines, and Kim Anderson as Mabel, who wisely realised that wearing a hat perched on top of a bee hive type wig will be hilarious!

One of the strengths of the production was the costumes, which allowed some of the company to create wonderful characters in the ensemble roles, and director Caroline Fritz made sure things kept flowing well through a huge amount of scene changes. The band, led by Phil Toms, was excellent, and the audience thoroughly enjoyed this show, as comfortable as your favourite jim-jams!