Category Archives: Shows

The Producers, 2013

Performance dates: 19th – 23rd March 2013
Venue: The Haymarket, Basingstoke

website_image-175x255px-v2

Principals:
Max Bialystock Rob Wilson
Leo Bloom David Izzo
Production team:

Director: Sue Sampson
Assistant Director:
Musical Director: Jules Dance
Choreographer: Alex Stores
Stage Manager: Tim
Production Manager:

Synopsis

The show centres around a struggling impresario Max Bialystock who discovers he can make more money from a flop than a hit. With the help of timid accountant Leo Bloom , Bialystock sets about staging the worst play he can find. The pair then hire the worst director in Manhattan who never goes anywhere without his partner Carmen Ghia. All that’s left is to raise the money, which Max does by seducing an army of old ladies.

The Pirates of Penzance, 2002

Performance dates: 11-16 March 2002
Venue: The Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke

Pirates2002

Principals:
Major General Stanley Tim Price
Pirate King Martin Sampson
Samuel David Scanlan
Frederic Matt Laxton
Sergeant of Police Simon Brickell
Mabel Stanley Sally Airey
Edith Stanley Helen Palmer
Kate Stanley Stephanie Webb
Isabel Stanley Karen Watson
Ruth Kate Youll


Production team:
  

Director: Sue Sampson
Asst. Director: Caroline Price
Musical Director: Anne Bell
Asst. Musical Director: Tim Price
Stage Manager: Paul Young

Synopsis

The show opens with a group of Pirates (‘the famous Pirates of Penzance’) having a party. Their youngest member (Frederic) has turned 21, completed his indentures (apprenticeship), and is about to become a full member of their party. He was apprenticed when very young to the pirates by his nursemaid (Ruth) by mistake: She misheard her employer saying that he wanted Frederic apprenticed as a Pilot, and delivered them to the wrong people…..

Frederic however, isn’t happy about being a Pirate, and announces to them all that he intends to leave the profession, and become respectable (much to their horror). Before he leaves the band however, he has to tell them the reason that they are not very successful as Pirates:

They are too soft hearted….

As they are all orphans, it is widely known that they will not attack other orphans. Whenever they better a smaller ship, all aboard declare they are orphans, and they are released. Whenever they attack larger ships, they get soundly beaten.

He gives the remaining Pirates the chance to become respectable; a thought which horrifies the Pirate King and the remaining pirates. With this, he declares that he will have to bring them to justice and departs the band with Ruth, his nursemaid….

Walking along the seashore he discovers a group of young ladies playing by the shore. After an argument with Ruth (who secretly loves him), he approaches the girls and warns them of their proximity to the dangerous pirates. Having never seen a girl before, he asks if any of them might be interested in rescuing him from his past calling. All decline, apart from Mabel. The remaining girls, not wanting to wreck the blossoming love of the two, but also aware of the impropriety of the situation, decide to remain and discuss the weather, whilst Frederic and Mabel declaim their love for each other.

Soon however, the reality of the situation comes to the fore, and the girls decide they must leave, rather than face the Pirates. This happens too late however, and they are caught and held by the Pirates who decide to marry them. Their father (Major General Stanley) arrives and puts off their intentions by declaring he is an orphan, and they would destroy him if they took his daughters.

The Pirate King declares them all members of the Pirate band, and swears to protect them all from then on.

That night, the girls and Frederic discover Major General Stanley up past his bedtime, fretting about the lie that he has told to the Pirate King, for he is NO orphan. It is decided to call the local constabulary out, to arrest the band and save his hide.

When the police arrive, the Stanley daughters upset them by concentrating on all the ways that they are going to die at the hands of the Pirates. Not being the bravest of men, they finally get bullied into attacking the Pirate lair, with Frederic leading them.

Frederic is happy that he is now actively rooting out the scourge of the Pirates, when he meets up with the Pirate King and Ruth. With great delight, they inform he that, as he was born on the 29th of February, he has only had five birthdays. As he was apprenticed to his 21st birthday, he is still a pirate…. So Frederic unwillingly becomes a member of the Pirate band, and tells them that the Major General is not an orphan (and never was either!). The Pirate King swears vengeance on the Major General.

Crestfallen, Frederic meets Mabel, and informs her that he is once again, a member of the Pirate band. Although she does her best to sway his determination to fall into his old ways, he declares that he is a ‘Slave of Duty’, and must follow the dictates of his conscience. They declare that they will remain faithful to each other until his 21st birthday (in 1940), and then depart.

Mabel informs the Sergeant of Police of the current situation, and gets his very unwilling promise that they will still root out the Pirates.

The Police gather themselves around the Stanley estate and wait whilst the Pirate band creeps up towards the Major General, who is unaware of the latest problems…….

As the Pirate King confronts Major General Stanley, the Police come to battle the Pirates. Unfortunately for the Major General, the Police are swiftly defeated, with the Pirates victorious. All appears hopeless until the Sergeant of Police pulls out his last weapon: He demands the Pirates give themselves up in the name of Queen Victoria. Faced with such overwhelming pressure, the Pirates concede…

As they are being dragged off, Ruth cries out that they cannot  be jailed, as they are all noblemen who have gone wrong. The Major General, being a true Englishman, forgives them all, gives his daughters in matrimony to the Pirates and everyone lives happily ever after.

The Mikado, 2005

The Mikado 2005

Performance dates: 21-26 February 2005
Venue: Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke

Mikado2005

Principals:
Yum Yum Sally Airey
Pitti Sing Kathy May-Miller
Peep Bo Karen Watson
Katisha Kate Youll
Nanki Poo Damon Gravatt
Ko Ko Tim Price
Pooh Bah Martin Palmer
The Mikado Peter Francis
Pish Tush Clive Slatter
Production team:
Director: Sarah Brickell
Musical Director: Anne Bell
Stage Director: Frank Bell

Synopsis

Nanki-Poo has fled from the court of his father, the Mikado of Japan, to escape marriage with an overpowering lady named Katisha, who is somewhat older than himself. Assuming the disguise of a musician, he has fallen in love with a fair maiden, Yum-Yum, but has been prevented from marrying her by her guardian, Ko-Ko, who wishes to marry her himself. Heartbroken, Nanki-Poo has banished himself from the little town of Titipu where she lives.

Upon learning that Ko-Ko has been condemned to death for the crime of flirting, Nanki-Poo returns to Titipu to claim Yum-Yum’s hand. After an odd turn of events, it turns out that Ko-Ko has not only been reprieved of his death sentence, but has earned a promotion to the post of Lord High Executioner.

Unfortunately for Ko-Ko, he is not a big fan of killing people. With the Mikado of Japan becoming increasingly annoyed at the lack of executions taking place, Ko-Ko makes a deal with Nanki-Poo. Nanki-Poo is persuaded to offer his own head in exchange for a month of connubial bliss with Yum-Yum. Yum-Yum’s ardour for Nanki-Poo is somewhat reduced, however, when she discovers that the wife of a beheaded husband is buried alive.

The feared Mikado arrives with Katisha and Ko-Ko falsely tells the Mikado that the execution has already taken place, as he has been too cowardly to behead anyone. Katisha discloses who Nanki-Poo really was, the heir to the thrown. Ko-Ko has thus beheaded the heir and must therefore die.

Facing a death sentence himself for executing the Heir, Ko-Ko pleads with Nanki-Poo to return. Nanki-Poo agrees – on the condition that Katisha is safely married off first. Ko-Ko therefore throws himself on the mercy of Katisha and begs her hand in marriage. She agrees, and begs mercy for him from the Mikado.

Nanki-Poo then returns and, of course, ends up with his beloved Yum-Yum.

Oklahoma!, 2008

Performance dates: 26th February – 1st March 2008
Venue: Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke

Oklahoma2008

Principals:
Aunt Eller Kathy May-Miller
Curly David Izzo
Laurey Alex Sellers
Ike Skidmore Gordon Sutton
Slim Cliver Slatter
Will Parker Joseph Philpotts
Fred Bob McGhee
Jud Fry Ian “Spud” Smith
Ado Annie Carnes Lauren Newman
Ali Hakim Peter Chiverton
Gertie Cummings Karen Moore
Helen Palmer
Andrew Carnes Keith Shergold
Cord Elam Peter Francis


Production team:

Director: Sarah Wood
Musical Director: Colin Woolmer
Choreographer: Cari Deaves

 

Oklahoma! was an instant success and ran for a record breaking 2,212 performances only to be beaten 15 years later by ‘My Fair Lady’. World War II delayed the opportunity for the show to be seen in London but when it arrived in 1947, starring a little known Harold (Howard) Keel, it had a profound affect on the British public. Brought up on a diet of Ivor Novello and Noel Coward, and living under the grey clouds of post-war austerity; audiences were won over by the upbeat, optimistic themes and colourful spectacle. From that moment, the American musical was to reign supreme for decades to come. The 1955 film, starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, is still a popular favourite today and the show continues to be one of the most often revived by both professionals and amateurs. The recent National Theatre production, headed by Maureen Lipman, was critically acclaimed and a studio version was filmed specially for release on video.

 

Synopsis

In the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), during the land rush of 1907, Laurey, with the help of her Aunt Eller, is managing the family farm. She has two suitors: charming cowboy Curly McLain and Jud Fry, her dark, brooding farmhand. Though she favours Curly, to spite him she agrees to let Jud drive her to the Box Lunch Social.

Will Parker has returned from Kansas City where he has won fifty dollars in a steer roping contest and plans to claim man-crazy Ado Annie as his bride. Her father, Andrew Carnes, has told him that if he ever had that much money she would be his. Unfortunately, Will has spent the money on presents, and is broke again. Carnes insists Annie marry Ali Hakim, the peddler who has been pursuing her. Ali Hakim is not interested in marriage.

Curly visits Jud and tries to discourage him, but the rivalry intensifies. Laurey believing in the “Elixir of Egypt” bought from the peddler, sniffs it and has a dream that helps her make up her mind.

At the Box Lunch Social, while farm people and cattle folk socialize, Ali Hakim goes to great lengths to ensure that Will is once more worth fifty dollars. Jud and Curly engage in a bidding war in the auction for Laurey’s lunch basket (and her company at lunch) and Curly proves his love by selling everything he owns to win.

Later, at the dance, Laurey spurns Jud’s advances, which provokes a confrontation that results in Jud’s dismissal and banishment from her ranch. She and Curly admit their love and they agree to marry.

Ado Annie and Will, with Ali Hakim out of the picture, reconcile and promise to be true to each other.

Laurey and Curly marry, and during the shivaree that follows, Jud returns and provokes a fight. In the scuffle, he is killed with his own knife. Curly is tried on the spot, pleads self-defence, and is acquitted.

Thoroughly Modern Millie, 2014

Performance dates: 25th – 29th March 2014
Venue: The Haymarket, Basingstoke

tmm Poster

Principals:
Millie Dillmount Dawn Stephens
Jimmy Smith Tom McReavy
Miss Dorothy Brown Hayley Cheeseworth
Mrs. Meers Stephanie Webb
Trevor Graydon III Ed Branch
Muzzy van Hossmere Siobhan Branch
Ching Ho Ian May-Miller
Bun Foo Kathy May-Miller
Miss Peg Flannery Karren Ford
Production team:

Director: Helen Buick
Musical Director: Simon Eastwood
Stage Manager: Coral Minifie

Synopsis

 

Calamity Jane, 2011

Performance dates: 15th – 19th March 2011
Venue: The Haymarket, Basingstoke

CalamityJane2011

Principals:
Henry Miller Keith Shergold
Susan Hayley Cheesworth
“Doc” Pierce David Scanlan
Will Bill Hickock Gordon Sutton
Calamity Jane Alex Stores
Rattlesnake Caroline Price
Joe Clive Slatter
Francis Fryer Christopher May-Miller
Lieut. Danny Gilmartin Robin Walton
Adelaide Adams Carlie Cohen
Katie Brown Charlotte Barnes
Production team:

Director: Andrew Culley
Assistant Director: Caroline Price
Musical Director: Simon Eastwood
Choreographer: Cari Deaves
Stage Manager: Coral Minifie
Production Manager: David Scanlan

Synopsis

One of the legendary figures of the Old West, Calamity Jane lives in Deadwood and rides shotgun on the stage-coach between Deadwood and Chicago. She dresses as a man, drinks like a man and can shoot better than most men. Although there is an element of truth in her adventures, the number of Indians shot and brave soldiers saved by her have led the townspeople to feel that she is “careless with the truth”!

Despite her outward toughness she has fallen for Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin and also, to a lesser extent, Wild Bill Hickock, a gambler.

Henry Miller is the owner of the Golden Garter Saloon and is anxiously awaiting actress Frances Fryer booked to perform that night. His anxiety increases when she does not arrive on the stage-coach. Due to a booking error a song and dance man Francis Fryer arrives instead, not what Miller’s red blooded customers would want. To dispel a riot Miller persuades Fryer to do a female impersonation. This is a disaster but Calamity saves the day (and Miller’s hide) by promising the angry audience she will go to Chicago and fetch Adelaide Adams, a famous start of vaudeville.

In Chicago, Calamity mistakes Adelaide Adams’ maid, Katie Brown, for the great star. Stage-struck Katie seizes the chance to break into show business by agreeing to perform at the Golden Garter. Her impersonation of Adelaide flops, but Calamity calms the audience and, given a second chance, Katie performs her own act and becomes the toast of Deadwood.

Katie and Calamity become good friends and Katie moves into Calamity’s cabin in the beautiful Black Hills of Dakota. Danny and Bill have fallen for Katie and visit the cabin to seek her favour. A ball at Fort Scully promotes an opportunity for the four of them to go as a foursome, with Calamity in a borrowed gown, revealing her feminine side and becoming the belle of the ball.

Danny finds himself alone with Katie, and declares his love for her. Katie although worried about Calamity, is overcome by passion and they fondly embrace and kiss. Calamity discovers them and flies into a rage, ordering Katie to get out of town.

Calamity sets back to her cabin to throw Katie’s belongings out, but on the trail with Wild Bill she discovers her “Secret Love” for him, and yes, you can guess, it all ends with wedding bells. But for how many weddings?

Jesus Christ Superstar, 2004

Performance dates: 22-27 March 2004
Venue: Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke

jcss2004

Principals:
Jesus David McClaren
Judas Nic Main
Mary Sarah Brickell
Caiphas Frank Bell
Annas Simon Brickell
Pontius Pilate Martin Sampson
Simon Zealotes Colin Woolmer
Peter David Izzo
King Herod Tim Price
Soul Girls Sally Airey, Stephanie Webb,
Jo Feasey, Karen Watson,
Kathy May-Miller, Sam Cobb
Priests Tony Bevan, Martin Palmer

Production team:
Director: Sue Sampson
Assisted by: Sarah Brickell
Musical Director: Anne Bell
Stage Director: Peter Brenchley

Synopsis

Jesus Christ Superstar chronicles the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth as seen through the eyes of his disciple, Judas Iscariot, who has become disillusioned with the movement. At the opening of the play, Judas agonizes over his perception that Jesus’ followers have become fanatical and unrealistic, hailing him as a god and twisting his words into monstrous prophecies. After all, in Judas’ mind, Jesus is only a man–a man with certain inconsistencies, as evidenced by his relationship with Mary Magdalene. As the crowds in the street grow more and more out of control, the rift between Jesus and Judas grows. After watching Jesus lose control in the temple, lashing out at the moneylenders and merchants, then begging to be left alone when a crowd of cripples surround him asking to be healed, Judas is more convinced than ever that the man from Nazareth is just that–a man, and nothing more. He determines that Jesus, having lost control of the mob, has become dangerous and must be stopped. He goes to the priests and gives them all the information they need to catch Jesus alone so that they can take him prisoner without risking violence by the mob. After leading the soldiers to Gethsemane, however, and watching the events that unfold, Judas soon realizes that he has been tricked by God into being the instrument of Jesus martyrdom. Furious that the man from Nazareth will be remembered as a “Superstar,” Judas hangs himself.

Fiddler on the Roof, 2007

Performance dates: 23-27 January 2007
Venue: The Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke

 Fiddler2007

Principals:
Tevye
Colin Woolmer
Golde
Kathy May-Miller
Tzeitel
Helen Palmer
Hodel Charlotte Barnes
Chav Cari Deaves
Motel
Gordon Sutton
Perchik
David Izzo
Fyedka
Adam Bayjou
Lazar Wolf
Tim Price
Yente
Caroline Price
Fruma Sarah
Gabrielle Esplin
Grandma Tzeitel
Julie Sutton


Production team:

Director: Gail Lowe
Musical Director: Anne Bell
Choreographer: Andy Gutteridge

Synopsis

The year is 1905 and a Jewish community in Tsarist Russia is trying to eke out a living in its shtetl in the village of Anatevka. Tevye is a milkman who has a personal relationship with God in whom he confides all. He strives, very hard, to keep up the traditions of his faith, race and culture. He has five daughters, itself a problem but what is more pressing is trying to find husbands for the eldest three children. Yente, the matchmaker, does her best, but with no dowry to offer, she finds that her work is very difficult. Even so, the girls dream of the love that they will find one day. Tevye makes his way home, dreaming of an easier life. He arrives just in time for the Sabbath Prayer, which is echoed throughout the Jewish community.
Tevye is manipulated by his wife Golde into meeting up with the wealthy butcher Lazar Wolf (who he doesn’t like). Lazar is interested in marrying Tevye’s eldest daughter Tzeitel. After much confusion, they make an agreement and celebrate. However, Tzeitel begs Tevye to recant his promise, as she has pledged her troth to the young tailor, Motel. Tevye, not wanting to hurt his daughter, agrees. To placate Golde, Tevye conjures up a dream in which the ghost of Golde’s Grandma Tzeitel would much prefer her granddaughter to marry the tailor. When the dream ghost of Fruma Sarah (Lazar’s first wife) promises to curse the marriage, Golde is pursuaded.

At the wedding ceremony between Motel and Tzeitel, there is a pogrom, an anti-Jewish demonstration, orchestrated by the Chief of Police, which casts into doubt the stability of Jewish life in Tsarist Russia.
Tevye’s second daughter, Hodel, has fallen in love with Perchik, a political student and an activist against the repressive regime. Perchik has to leave urgently for Kiev, but before leaving asks Hodel to marry him. Tevye refuses to give his permission for Hodel and Perchik to marry, but they tell Tevye that they are not asking his permission to marry; merely his blessing. Tevye relents, then explains this to Golde, comforting her with the thought that love is constant. Later, Perchik is arrested and is to be sent to Siberia. Hodel leaves join him. She promises her father they will be married, under a canopy, in the traditional Jewish way. Her father accompanies her to the railway station to bid her farewell.

Chava, Tevye’s third daughter falls in love with Fyedka, a Russian soldier. As he is not Jewish, they elope and marry in front of a priest. When Chava returns to talk to her father, Tevye cannot reconcile himself to this massive break with Tradition. From this point on, Chava ceases to be his daughter and is shunned.
Meanwhile, Anatevka itself is under threat. The Jews are being forced to leave their homes. Many of them decide to go to live in America where many of them have friends and relations. Tevye and Golde and the two youngest children are to go there. Motel and Tzeitel, who now have a child of their own, will join them in the future. Chava and Fyedka, shunned by the Jews and hating what is happening in Russia, leave for Poland.

Anything Goes, 2006

Performance dates: 20th – 25th March 2006
Venue: Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke

Anything_goes2006

Principals:
Billy Crocker David Izzo
Reno Sweeney Kathy May-Miller
Moonface Martin Simon Brickell
Hope Harcourt Jessica Ridley
Erma Sarah Brickell
Lord Evelyn Oakleigh Colin Woolmer
Mrs. Harcourt Kate Youll
Elisha Whitney David Scanlan
Luke Gordon Sutton
John Andy Tungate
Captain Peter Francis
Purser Peter Chiverton
Fred Martin Palmer
Angels (x4) Cari Deaves, Jenny Moseley, Kim Knights, Stephanie Webb

Production team:
Director: Gail Lowe
Musical Director: Roy Oldham
Stage Director: Andy Gutteridge

Synopsis

Set in the 1930s, the story takes place on a luxury ocean liner sailing from New York to England. As the show opens, the ship’s crew is readying it for passengers. Reno Sweeney, a famous nightclub singer, is on board with her Angels as the entertainment. Hope Harcourt, a socialite, is sailing with her mother and her fiancé, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. He is handsome, wealthy, and a bit of a fop. Hope is not in love with him but the marriage will secure the future for her and her mother. Once wealthy, the family lost just about everything in the 1929 stock market crash and her father committed suicide.
Elisha Whitney, a Wall Street business tycoon, is also on board. His assistant, Billy Crocker, boards the ship to give his boss his forgotten passport and sees Hope Harcourt. The two had met previously and he still harbors a romantic a attraction towards her. Impulsively, Billy decides to stay on the ship when it leaves New York, even though he promises his boss he will work on an important business deal. He is forced to hide because he doesn’t have a passport or a ticket. He bumps into a small time crook, Moonface Martin, who is traveling dressed as a minister because he is wanted by the FBI. Moonface’s cohort, Snake Eyes, hasn’t shown up for the trip so Moonface gives Billy his passport and ticket, both under an assumed name. Billy and Moonface travel in disguise with Erma, Snake Eyes’ girlfriend, who enjoys flirting with all of the sailors. Other passengers on board include Reverend Henry T. Dobson, a missionary in China, and two of his recent converts, Luke and John.

Once the ship leaves harbor, Billy uses a variety of disguises to avoid being discovered. During the voyage, he tries to convince Hope that he is in love with her and she shouldn’t marry Lord Evelyn. Reno, who is an old friend of Billy’s, agrees to help him by pretending to seduce Lord Evelyn. In the process, she discovers that she actually finds him attractive, but he has no idea she’s interested, at least for awhile. When it’s discovered that two gangsters, Moonface and Snake Eyes, are on board, the passengers are excited to have celebrities and the pair become instant heroes. But soon they are thrown in the brig by the ship’s captain. Reno leads an impromptu revival meeting for the infamous passengers to confess their sins. Getting into the spirit, Lord Evelyn confesses he previously had a fling with a woman named Plum Blossom in China. Meanwhile Billy and Moonface plot their escape from the brig by enticing Luke and John into a game of cards to win their clothes.

Mrs. Harcourt sees that Hope’s interest in Billy is growing and doesn’t want the marriage to be stalled, so she arranges for the captain to marry Hope and Lord Evelyn immediately on the ship. At the wedding, Reno appears, disguised as Plum Blossom, with Billy and Moonface, disguised as Chinese men. They say that Lord Evelyn must marry Plum Blossom to make an honest woman of her. Realizing that it’s Reno, he readily agrees that would be the proper thing to do and Hope agrees to release him from their engagement. Hope and Billy are then free to marry. Elisha Whitney suddenly proposes to Mrs. Harcourt and she accepts, so the captain performs a triple wedding ceremony on the spot. The cast does a big tap finalé and everyone lives happily every after.