The Society’s production of Goodnight Mr Tom ran from 15 to 18 March 2017. Much to our delight, it was a great success, with good houses across all shows. Saturday evening’s final performance even managed to sell out the Hebden Bridge Little Theatre!
Originally scheduled for early 2016, this production was to be the first time the show’s licence was granted to an amateur operatic society. However, having been deferred after the Boxing Day floods of 2015, the rescheduled production in late 2016 encountered unexpected issues. Bringing this production to the stage has been a real labour of love for all of us involved and we were absolutely delighted to see it finally come to fruition.
Audience members and production crew alike seemed to have “got something in their eye” during this show. It really touched an emotional cord all round.
Goodnight Mr Tom, adapted from Michelle Magorian’s award-winning novel, has been made into a play, a TV film and a musical. It’s the story of William Beech, a boy from the urban grime of Deptford, London who is evacuated at the start of World War II to a safe place in the countryside. There, he is placed under the care of the grumpy, reclusive “Mister Tom” Oakley. As the pair gradually come to understand one another – and what they’ve each been through – they begin to develop a mutual love and respect that will help them through the hard times that still lie ahead.
In 2013, the Society presented A Musical Extravaganza, packed with hits songs from Abba, Jesus Christ Superstar, Fiddler On The Roof and Wicked!
It ran from March 20-23 2013, including a Saturday matinée.
Cast: Trish Brennan, Jenny Crosbie, Marc Chrysanthou, Megan Elsegood, Tom Flather, Alice Hardy, Ian Moorhouse, Jack Moorhouse, Katie-Faye Moorhouse, Luke Moorhouse, Mick Snowden, Tamara Swann, Georgia Lomax-Thorpe
Compère: Davis Williams Director: Ian Moorhouse Piano: Dave Root Clarinet / Percussion: Roseanne Evans
In 2012, the Society produced A Nite With The Lite, a medley of song and dance.
The show took place at the Hebden Bridge Little Theatre from 14-17 March 2012, with a matinée on Saturday.
Compère: Peter Whitley Cast: Claire Baker, Judi Chrysanthou, Richard Cook, Sara-Jo Cooper, Jenny Crosbie, Laura Crowther, Lana Dolan-Rathmell, Wesley Downs, Jacqueline Evans, Barry Greenwood, Otti Gauvain, Sam Harris, Connie Hurl, Michael Mallinson, Andy McNally, Katie-Faye Moorhouse, Ian Moorhouse. Miss Angela’s School of Dance and Performing Arts: Hannah Adams, Claire Baker, Lucy Crabtree, Julie Harwood, Jorja Nuttall, Georgia Taylor, Zada Turkaly, Rebecca Wood. Director: Eileen Horner Musical Director: David Root Coreographer: Angela Marshall Chorus Master: David Barker
Charlie Girl was a very successful British musical that, despite several London revivals, never quite achieved international status. It was produced by the Society in 1973.
The story centres around the fortunes of Charlotte “Charlie” Hadwell, youngest daughter of impoverished aristocrat Lady Hadwell. The widowed Lady Hadwell opens her house to the public to try to raise money and hopes to marry Charlie off to a wealthy American. Meanwhile, the household’s loyal retainer, Joe, has won a fortune on the football pools, but decides not to tell his employers. He loves Charlie, but doesn’t want the issue of money to get in the way.
Composer / Libretto: David Heneker, John Taylor
Book: Hugh Williams, Margaret Vyner, Ray Cooney
Half a Sixpence, based on Rudyard Kipling’s story Kipps, was originally written as a musical vehicle for Tommy Steele. It’s the story of Arthur Kipps, an orphan who becomes unexpectedly wealthy. After he inherits a fortune, he leaves the security of his shop job and starts to climb the social ladder. Kipps is generous with his new-found wealth but, being rather naive, it’s not long before he’s parted from his money and deserted by the hangers-on. Poor once again, but wiser, he realises that happiness can’t be bought.
The Society put on a production of Half a Sixpence in 1978. Hit songs include the title song, If The Rain’s Got To Fall and Flash! Bang! Wallop!
Composer/Libretto: David Heneker
Book: Beverley Cross
For its show in1994, the Society chose Carousel, the second musical of the Rodgers/Hammerstein collaboration. An adaptation of Ferenc Molnár’s play Lilliom of 1909, the musical moves the action to Maine, instead of the original Budapest. It also attempts to lighten the original storyline, which was considered to be rather downbeat. Eventually, Molnár was persuaded to agree to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s revised plotline.
The main story revolves around Billy, a carousel barker, who gets involved in a robbery in an attempt to provide for his pregnant girlfriend, Julie. Julie works in a mill, along with Carrie whose involvement with ambitious fisherman, Enoch, provides a contrasting tale. The robbery is botched and ends badly, but Billy is allowed to make amends and ensure his child has a chance of a better life than his.
The musical first showcased the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, that would later become an extremely well-known anthem of the football terraces.
Composer: Richard Rodgers
Libretto/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II
Hello, Dolly! Is perhaps one of the most enduring musicals of all – and it was the Society’s 1976 show.
Dolly Levi, widow, matchmaker and general meddler is trying to find a match for the wealthy Horace Vandergelder. She has an inkling she’d quite like him for herself, but business is business and she has to at least go through the motions. Meanwhile Horace’s clerks, Cornelius and Barnaby, who have been left in charge of the shop, have instead sneaked off for a day of fun in the city. Scheming Dolly has set them up with Irene and Minnie under false pretences, claiming the young men are rich. She’s also arranged for Horace’s niece Ermengarde to meet up with Ambrose, who’s an artist and therefore an unsuitable match. Dolly’s complicated plans begin to unravel when it becomes clear that everyone has chosen to dine at the same restaurant…
Composer / Libretto: Jerry Herman
Book: Michael Stewart
The 1992 show was a bit of a coup for the Society. In that year, we performed the Northern amateur première of George and Ira Gershwin’s 1930 musical Girl Crazy. Famous songs from the show include Embraceable You and I Got Rhythm. The original Broadway production made big stars out of Ethel Merman and Ginger Rogers! Later film versions altered the original story considerably but were big successes in their own right.
The story involves Danny, sent to manage his family ranch in Arizona as a last-ditch attempt to straighten him up from a life of wine, women and song. Instead, he brings the party with him – ending up with a ranch full of showgirls and visitors from all over the country! Along the way, he falls for the local postmistress – but can she make an honest man of him?
Composer: George Gershwin
Libretto: Ira Gershwin
Book: Guy Bolton, Jack McGowan
In 1979, the Society revived the comedic and farcical musical Calamity Jane.
The musical’s story is only very lightly based on real-life Deadwood City characters Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok. The local barkeeper finds himself in a spot of bother with his customers, a rowdy bunch of miners. Aiming to keep the peace, Calamity heads to Chicago to bring back actress Adelaide Adams, to calm the crowds. However, she mistakes Adelaide’s maid, Katie, for the star herself and brings back the wrong woman. Although Katie is well-received on stage, she crumbles and confesses that she’s not, in fact, Adelaide. Calamity once more restores order, allowing Katie to win over the audience – including Calamity’s sweetheart. Finally, Calamity comes to realise that Wild Bill’s the man for her, after all.
Composer: Sammy Fain
Libretto: Paul Francis Webster