Under the headline 'Making all the right moves', The Mail reviewed the opening night of Barrow Amateurs' production of the Tim Rice musical Chess at Forum 28 in May 1994.

It was the northern premiere of the musical and Barrow Amateur did the town proud.

Because the show is nearly all sung, and there are very few spoken words, the actors had to put all their emotions across in song, stated the review.

Kenny Smyth as the American world chess champion Frederick Trumper did this brilliantly.

He had a strong rock voice and performed his songs really well, and his added dramatic dimension made him a force to be reckoned with, said the review.

Sarah Flanaghan as Florence Vassey, Trumper's chess second and lover, gave a moving performance as the woman who kept putting love for the men in her life before her own interests.

Her signing was excellent and in a moment at the end of the show when her microphone went off and she had to close the show with her song, she just lifted her voice and belted it out over the orchestra.

Steve Carrick played the well-meaning Russian chess champion Anatoly Sergievsky and his tenderness for Florence after her bitter break-up with Trumper was a joy.

Helena Troughton, as his wife Svetlana Sergievskaya, gave another beautifully- sung, delightfully-acted performance.

Her famous duet I Know Him So Well with Sarah was well worth the ticket price on its own, stated the review.

There was also praise for Phil McIntosh as The Arbiter and Nicholas Carson as the Russian second Alexander Molokov.

"The whole company has risen to the occasion and there is an obvious commitment to the show from everyone, which is a pleasure to see," said the reviewer.

The orchestra, playing music by former Abba stars Benny and Bjorn, under Peter Dyer, deserved a special mention.

The costumes were cleverly colour-coded and there was also praise for choreographer Melissa Thompson.