Yes indeed! Hold on to your hats, this is going to be another belter!
We are once again joining forces with the justly renowned Wolverton Light Orchestra. This time to put on a truly splendid joint production of a Victorian Music Hall. We will transport our audience to a delightful cornucopia of music hall marvels, and you are an essential, not to say pivotal, cog in this mighty machine. It will star, as ever, chiefly – yourselves!
If you’ve been in any of our G&S shows, you’ll already know how exciting it is to sing with a pit orchestra. This time we have twice that number of players, a veritable symphony orchestra to perform with.
The programme is a magnificent mix of orchestral pieces, choruses with orchestra and solos and duets.
From Wolverton G&S, we’re looking for exciting and humorous novelty acts as well as familiar and famous music hall songs. Our thrilling thespians will be overjoyed by the intelligence that there is ample opportunity for over-acting in the comically sinister melodrama.
There will be plenty of chorus work in the show, with gorgeous Gilbert and Sullivan choruses and a right old knees up Old Time Music Hall medley with plenty of cockney ‘ows yer father’ moves, and lots of lovely dancers for a waltz.
The evening will be compered in the loquacious and sesquipedalian style exemplified by the late Leonard Sachs in the BBC series “The Good Old Days”. Members under 50 may need to Google it…
The show’s overall musical director is Mike Crofts and Kim Bennett will be our repetiteur for all sung items. Graham Mitchell is our director and Karen Platt the producer. This is a joint production with Wolverton Light Orchestra.
We will not hold traditional panel auditions for this show, but interested parties are invited to come to try out sessions with piano accompaniment over a couple of evenings. We will try to be flexible with dates so everyone who wants to can be heard. The parts will be allocated by the production team.
Want to hear more? Then come along to our open evening on Friday 2nd September. You are very welcome to bring any friends or relatives who may be interested in joining in. Trial membership is free for the first month.
Here is a list of the principal items you may be interested in. All of them can be found in various guises on YouTube.
Good vocal stamina required for this. He or she is speaking for a lot of the evening in a very dramatic and theatrical style. Good diction and projection essential. Search for ‘Leonard Sachs Good Old Days’ on YouTube for inspiration. Could possibly be a job for a drag queen.
Melodrama – Andrew Sachs
“The Drunkards Dilemma or Her Honour for Tenpence” is a Victorian melodrama with musical punctuation. It runs for about 12 minutes (with applause) and requires the following characters:
Uncle - a gin sodden wreck but basically good.
Georgina – all things nice. A wide eyed ingenue.
The Landlord – he’s the villain. Much cloak swirling required.
A Man – the hero. Very upright, pure and honest.
The Lion and Albert - Edgar
The late, great Stanley Holloway made this one famous. You’ll find it online easily enough. Can be played male or female.
Time for a bit of culture. Are you a Jenny Lind? The Swedish Nightingale, as she was billed, performed beautiful arias in music hall during the heyday. You can choose your own, but we’d prefer one with a bit of chorus. Any male soloists also welcome to propose an aria for inclusion.
If it wasn't for the 'Ouses - Bateman/Le Brun
This is the Gus Elen song that Warren Mitchell sang in the Good Old Days. It’s a very funny cockney reflection on the state of housing in the East End. Can be performed on its own or as the climax of a comedy routine – see below.
A three to five minute routine in the Gus Elen or similar music hall style. Can be solo or a duo and can also be finished with a song e.g. “If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses”. If you include the song, you get up to ten minutes!
Again, your three to five minutes of fame. You can do magic tricks, juggle, mind reading or bring on performing pets! Male or female artistes welcome. Solo or team effort.
Burlington Bertie from Bow - Norris/Hargreaves
This fabulous number is a ‘personation song where a cockney woman impersonates a stuffed shirt toff. It was made famous by Ella Shields and latterly Julie Andrews. Needs some swagger!
Polly Perkins – Clifton
A cockney ballad of a broken-hearted milkman. Long associated with our first ever chairman Fred Cornford, who performed it brilliantly.
The Boy I Love is up in the Gallery - Ware
Pathos by the bucket-load for this one please. Marie Lloyd made it famous, but it was in Peaky Blinders too.
Morning Promenade - Mills/Scott
Made famous by Marie Lloyd, “When I Take my Morning Promenade” is a song of cheeky innuendo. You may find videos of Barbara Windsor performing it useful. This could also work very well performed in a raucous drag if any of the men are interested.
Expressions of interest may be sent to email@example.com using the form below or you can just tick the ones you like and hand the list in on the open night.
All the best