AOS Anything Goes programme Spring 2010


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The programme for the AOS production of Anything Goes from Spring 2010

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abingdon operatic society director chris biggs musical director john nye choreographer vicky ellis monday 12th saturday 17th april 2010 amey theatre abingdon school


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simon blainey dave williams phil hughes jon ridley david eddy joe haynes g lucy bent chris turton lesley donovan g sarah carter lydia finch linda harris caroline organ-jennings tina hood-liles lynda teasdale


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abingdon operatic society presents an amateur production of anything g goes g beaumont music and lyrics by cole porter original book by p g wodehouse and guy bolton new book by timothy crouse john weidman howard lindsay and russel crouse originally produced by lincoln centre theatre new york by arrangement with musicscope and stage musicals limited of new york director chris biggs musical director john nye choreographer vicky ellis please ensure that all mobile phones are switched off the use of all cameras video and audio equipment is prohibited in the theatre for lost property enquiries please call 07817 591108 refreshments are available in the foyer conservatory please note that there is no smoking allowed anywhere on abingdon school premises including all outside areas


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insight insight insight katharine duchess of kent it was her experience of teaching young children in several primary schools particularly in hull that eventually led to her being so closely involved in the founding of future talent a music charity dedicated to finding funding and nurturing exceptionally talented young musicians in the uk of which she remains a trustee and passionate advocate i found there were no natural stepping stones for the gifted child in the state sector and very few opportunities available for the most talented musicians for anyone lacking katharine s determination this might have been the end of the matter but she felt strongly that something should be done about the situation in partnership with nicholas robinson headmaster at king s college choir school i was able to launch the future talent charity in 2004 today we re funding approximately 5000 gifted young people across the uk it must be wonderful to watch all that young musical talent being nurtured but doesn t it also raise regrets about her early ambition to be a concert pianist she pauses for a moment and then smiles in the end i was able to do the most rewarding thing any person can do which is to teach music share my love of music with others and pass on my passion to future generations welcome to aos katharine and we do hope you enjoy the show e veryone involved in aos was truly delighted when it was announced that katharine duchess of kent was to become our new president of course it was fairly common knowledge in the society that katharine kent as she always styles herself on her ticket booking form has been a regular member of our audience over the last few years still given the number of requests of this type she must receive we had to ask her why she had decided to accept this particular invitation there are two reasons really she replies firstly being involved locally with something i admire and like and secondly my love of music in all its forms katharine s love of the arts is well known but she insists that she really doesn t know where it came from i was just born with a love of music my initial dream was really to be an international pianist given this dream does she still get the chance to perform herself not as much as i would like to at the moment she admits the growth of the future talent charity has been so rapid that unfortunately i haven t had much time for that but i look forward very much to both teaching and performing again in the near future


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g chris biggs chairman and director g i t gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our spring 2010 production of anything goes the show was chosen in deliberate contrast to our last darkly brooding victorian offering the life of the rich and influential of the 1930s as they compete to be seen against the backdrop of the era s most stylish venue ­ the transatlantic liner ­ has given us an altogether different world to portray film stars socialites the aristocracy all meet in a heady mix of unashamed indulgence the cast has had great fun in rehearsal for this `good news musical there are no disasters or lasting disappointments here and the comedy the dancing and the unforgettable music have combined to keep us enjoying every minute our aim is to transport you away from your daily routine and the humdrum of reality into a light-hearted musical world of pure enjoyment so sit back relax and let the magic of cole porter spread through your whole being this musical was written for your enjoyment it has been a double privilege for me to direct this show whilst simultaneously being the society s chairman the show offers a variety of challenges a good mix of comedy sublime music and lively dance to satisfy the ambitions of any director the cast both principals and chorus have worked tremendously hard and long to achieve the professionalism for which aos is justifiably known john nye has been a beacon of excellence in his handling of the musical director s role and it has been a pleasure to witness the immense skill of vicky ellis our choreographer as she has created the dance routines cole porter was a prime example of the privileged moneyed class of america this was his world his sense of romance his escape from reality if he knew anything apart from how to pen some of the best light music the world has ever heard then he knew and understood this world it has been my delight to work with a remarkably talented company to bring you a glimpse of his world musical director john nye ohn grew up in west london and his musical education took place at the royal college of music when singing he has enjoyed opportunities to take roles as diverse as zeus in orpheus in the underworld and pilate in bach s st john passion he served as the society s chairman for seven years and has frequently appeared on stage his first appearance being in anything goes in 1995 when he enjoyed it very much this is his fourth aos show as musical director when not listening to music or playing piano and clarinet examining coaching rowing or rugby john teaches mathematics the subject in which he holds a cambridge degree john is married with three adult children choreographer vicky ellis icky started dancing at the age of 6 with the jill stew school of dance from there she went on to study professional dance at swindon college and bodywork in cambridge after a long break and a career change she decided to relight her passion for dance and started work as a part-time teacher during this time she was recruited by the oxford gang show and has just completed her third year as choreographer and a producer vicky is now a full-time self employed dance teacher currently working for oxfordshire county council oxford university dance society and step 2 dance academy as well as being engaged with other projects around the county she lives in cookham with her boyfriend john and her cat dolly j v


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words and music by cole porter he contributed a list of classic melodies to the american songbook and ended his life a reclusive millionnaire so where did he go right b orn into a wealthy family in indiana in 1891 cole porter never had to struggle for his success after starting his musical studies at six his mother saw to it that he had every advantage often using her wealth to ensure he got the attention she thought he deserved she even changed the year of his birth registration by two years to make him seem more of a prodigy in 1909 he went up to yale university where he began to write songs seriously his grandfather wanted him to become a lawyer and he did go on to harvard law school in 1913 but soon transferred to the school of music in order to pursue his passion for composition in 1916 he wrote his first broadway show see america first which closed after two weeks unable to bear the failure porter left for paris in 1917 as america entered the first world war the story he later told involved joining the french foreign legion and teaching american soldiers gunnery but in fact he spent his time living on an allowance from his mother and grandfather touring europe and settling into intellectual paris society there in 1919 he married the rich american divorcée linda lee thomas who was eight years


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his senior the marriage worked for both of them and lasted for 34 years but was never more than a convenient arrangement porter s homosexuality was quite open among his friends even in those far off days when it was a forbidden and criminal activity the porters returned to the usa and broadway in 1928 with the appropriately named show paris which featured the first of his standards `let s do it let s fall in love a string of hit shows and show tunes followed until in 1934 he wrote the show anything goes as a vehicle for the barnstorming talents of ethel merman the original reno sweeney merman would go on to star in five more porter shows porter seemed to relish the parties and social whirl of the new york theatrical scene it s said that he thoroughly enjoyed the opening nights of his own shows sitting in the front row and applauding as loudly as anyone then in 1937 tragedy struck while out riding with the countess edith di zoppola he fell and his horse rolled across his legs crushing them both doctors told his wife and mother that his right leg and possibly the left would have to be amputated he underwent over 30 operations on his legs and remained in constant pain for the rest of his life an understandably long period of depression followed the accident but strangely this didn t stop his work in the ten years that followed he churned out a series of broadway hits featuring some classic songs some critics said that something of his early zest had been lost but the audiences seemed happy in 1948 he produced what is often seen as his greatest triumph kiss me kate the shakespearean show within a show the production won the tony award for best musical and porter won for best composer and lyricist the score includes `another op nin another show `wunderbar `so in love `too darn hot and `brush up your shakespeare things were never to be so good again in 1952 his mother died and then two years later his wife followed the loss of the two most important women in his life left him broken in 1958 his right leg had worsened to the point where amputation was the only option he stopped writing and retired to california where he died in 1964 those last years were truly unhappy but a tremendous legacy lives on in hundreds of sparkling show tunes and a host of hit shows perfect porter b anything goes the story so g gheadstrong meanwhile billy not the only stow-far who is overjoyed to is captain illy crocker the away on the trip hapless gangster moonface martin also known as public enemy number 13 has hidden on board with erma the girlfriend of `snake eyes johnson the famous public enemy number 1 who hasn t turned up also on board is reno sweeney a sexy ex-evangelist turned night club singer reno who is an old friend of billy is delighted to find him here and mistakenly thinks he has come to spend the trip with her to remain undetected by both the crew and his own boss billy has now teamed up with moonface adopting numerous disguises and hiding away in the ship s cabins the captain has been warned by the f.b.i that `snake eyes johnson is on board and he mistakenly believes it is billy when billy is finally captured by the purser and the crew the finally have a celebrity on board makes him the honorary captain of the ss american rather than having him arrested billy now professes his undying love for hope but she is torn between her attraction to him and her promise to lord evelyn evelyn however is very taken with reno whom he once saw at her club where her singing stirred him to a frenzy and to whom he confesses the oakleigh family s terrible secret hope s mother evangeline also teams up again with elisha whitney who she hasn t seen for forty years the scene is all set for romance on the ocean wave but who will the wedding bells ring for billy hope reno evelyn we ll soon see young assistant of tycoon elisha j whitney has fallen in love with the beautiful american debutante hope harcourt whom he met one evening at a party unfortunately hope is sailing to england on the ss american ocean liner with her english fiancé lord evelyn oakleigh and her mother evangeline when billy finds out he immediately stows away on board determined to persuade hope not to marry the silly lord evelyn the official passenger list also includes elisha whitney a minister and two chinese converts photographers and reporters but to the disappointment of the paying passengers no celebrities after charlie chaplin cancels his trip leaving the purser and the captain in a tight spot.


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principals in order of appearance elisha whitney billy crocker reno sweeney evangeline harcourt hope harcourt lord evelyn oakleigh erma `moonface martin fred the barman joe haynes girl in bar nancy wing sailor in bar jon ridley captain phil hughes purser colin fall reporter mike davies angel purity sarah carter dance captain angel chastity lydia finch angel charity rachel tugwell angel virtue caroline organ-jennings tricia cook salma craig,wendy marler katie rooke suzi rooke violin double bass piccolo flute clarinet saxophone clarinet saxophone clarinet bass clarinet saxophone trumpet trombone piano/keyboard guitar drums percussion anythin martin mellor iain launchbury sophie ruggiero lynne winter kerry chaundy john wilkes katie nye george green photographer valerie findlay henry t dobson christopher turton chinese ruth lucy bent chinese mary lesley donovan fbi agent 1 kat ballard-martin fbi agent 2 alastair cooper tapper tapper tapper tapper linda harris tina hood-liles dance captain lynda teasdale debbie wilde characters in order of appearance dancers passengers and crew joy skeels gill skidmore simon blainey david eddy dave williams mariette richter leader christine ashfield lorna edwards idris harries zoë zimmerman glyn williams stephen cutting andy hall graeme hollingdale dan king huw james ian miles paul owen james hunt chris fletcher-campbell orchestra


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ng goes scenes and principal musical numbers act i scene 1 a smokey manhattan bar i get a kick out of you there s no cure like travel public enemy number one blow gabriel blow goodbye little dream goodbye act ii scene 1 the ship s nightclub scene 2 the afterdeck of an ocean liner bon voyage scene 2 the ship s brig late at night be like the blue bird all through the night scene 3 on deck that evening you re the top easy to love scene 3 on deck later that night the gypsy in me scene 4 whitney s cabin moon s adjacent cabin the corridor outside the crew song scene 4 the ship s brig early morning scene 5 on deck buddy beware finale scene 5 on deck mid-morning there ll always be a lady fair friendship scene 6 evelyn s stateroom scene 7 on deck at twilight it s de-lovely scene 8 on deck early the following morning anything goes there will be an interval of twenty minutes between the acts


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reno sweeney sophie ruggerio lord evelyn oakleigh john wilkes ohn has been a regular performer with aos and other musical societies in the county for several years he enjoys taking on parts that are a little different from the norm understanding their characters and winkling out the foibles and little idiosyncrasies that can bring them to life for evelyn john says i see him as something between bertie wooster and kenneth williams a bit effete but sometimes quite earthy he also likes to do some dancing and is pleased to have a slot towards the end of the show where he can strut his stuff previous parts john has taken show a wide range of characters and shows and include the beadle in sweeney todd molokov in chess emcee in cabaret ravenal in showboat dr daly in the sorcerer ruthven in ruddigore koko in mikado and point in yeoman of the guard s ophie made her stage debut at 9 years old as a tap-dancing chicken in the musical cockadoodle doo and has been addicted to the thrill of live performance ever since at university she studied `film and theatre living in london sophie took up jazz singing performing at open mic nights across the city she also acted with kensington drama company after moving to oxford in 2002 she joined the oxford theatre guild and appeared in tom stoppard s rosencrantz and guildenstern are dead christopher denys the mysteries and in spring 2009 she played elizabeth proctor in arthur miller s the crucible joining oxford operatic society in 2004 she played lady thiang in the king and i joining aos in 2009 for sweeney todd she has relished every minute in the role of ex-evangelist and nightclub singer reno sweeney in anything goes mother to grace aged 5 and vita aged 2 sophie teaches monkey music in oxford witney and abingdon j billy crocker iain launchbury hope harcourt kerry chaundy t his is iain s fourth show with aos and his first leading role he feels very lucky to have been offered the part of billy and hopes that he will do it justice he has enjoyed working opposite kerry and with the rest of the cast iain s previous roles with the society include will parker in oklahoma and freddy eynsford-hill in my fair lady outside the society iain was married at the beginning of february to the lovely rebecca and she is looking forward to having more time to spend with him once the show is over iain is also looking forward to moving to abingdon later in the year to cut down on the commute to rehearsals a nything goes marks kerry s fourteenth show with aos having spent some time down in chichester running the family pub she was pleased to return to oxford to rejoin her friends and the society in sweeney todd kerry has really enjoyed getting back into the swing of things and as well as taking on the role of hope she has joined the committee as secretary her last role with aos was the strong character of marguerite in the scarlet pimpernel while before this she was ann pornick in the 2006 aos production of half a sixpence hope is somewhat of a different challenge as she seems to spend most of her time upset but kerry s not complaining as she gets six beautiful costumes that make her feel like a princess.


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`moonface martin george green erma katie nye tage struck at the tender age of 3 katie has a great love of the theatre especially musical theatre this has meant that singing and performing have been very high on her `to do lists she has been involved in many shows and concerts with aos in all sorts of capacities both on and off the stage most recently as the director of our 2008 production of my fair lady anything goes sees her return to the stage as erma her last appearance on stage was as the wicked witch of the west in the wizard of oz erma is as different as can be and definitely not green in all senses of the word when not with aos katie enjoys doing other bits and bobs of singing and generally showing off whenever she gets a call and time allows g eorge sang as a treble in his church choir in market harborough but when his voice broke he didn t like the replacement so withdrew s many years later he was asked to be the chairman in an old time music hall this led to membership of a number of operatic societies and drama groups and a variety of roles including higgins in my fair lady john wellington wells in the sorcerer sacristan in tosca dennis in outside edge and many more a few years ago he retired from the boards to help with front of house how he comes to be on the stage again is something of a mystery to him it has been suggested that some people will go to any lengths to avoid front of house duties anyway he is looking forward to being `moon for a second time evangeline harcourt lynne winter elisha whitney martin mellor l ynne has appeared in many leading roles with a number of societies some of her favourites include eliza in my fair lady valencienne in merry widow guinevere in camelot eurydice in orpheus in the underworld julie in show boat lady thiang in the king i and many of the g s roles such as yum yum in mikado in addition lynne enjoys singing the classical repertoire and has sung with touring opera in the holywell rooms and recently at a wedding in medina cathedral in malta in aos`s last production of anything goes lynne had to polish up her tap dancing as the gangster s moll this time she is enjoying playing a less energetic role m artin s musical theatre career began at school culminating in playing macheath in the beggar s opera although he spent the following years in devising directing and performing in cabaret especially with the round table he regrets that he did not return to the stage until he was 43 in 1984 when he joined aos he has taken many principal roles including madame lucy in irene ali hakim in oklahoma pickering in my fair lady baron zeta in the merry widow king pellinore in camelot and frank in die fledermaus when performing the drunken soliloquy in die fledermaus he was accused of playing himself he particularly enjoys playing character parts and here he is playing a larger-than-life boozer again martin is retired and is enjoying travelling and pursuing his many and varied interests.


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q&a os is extremely lucky to have a keen dedicated and friendly backstage crew we thought we d ask our stage manager why he keeps coming back for more when and how did you first get involved in backstage work my first show was wizard of oz 37 years ago in 1973 my sister-inlaw chris waite asked me to an aos social and before i knew it i was stage manager and have been ever since on and off have you ever been tempted onto the stage occasionally backstage crew are in costume to help out on stage if there are not enough men in the chorus my claim to fame was fiddler on the roof when i was the captain of the soldiers who broke up the marriage ceremony part of this was me having a fight with the groom but on the tuesday night i was a bit over excited and off target with a candlestick and knocked him clean out at the end of the first act unfortunately he started the second act with a song and it was touch and go if he would make it he did thank goodness people on stage get applause but what s in it for you it s true that backstage is not overglamorous and does not attract enough helpers but the few of us that do it actually love it have an amazing amount of fun and love stage manager being part of the society we get our applause at the aftershow party health safety regulations can be strict ­ what problems do they cause you health safety has caused some major problems for backstage recently ­ no beer backstage during the show now how terrible is that apart from that though health safety is not really a problem for us ­ we do things automatically hard hats etc at the end of the day health and safety is only common sense barry greenaway a is there anything particularly difficult about staging anything goes the hardest part of the show week is the sunday technical rehearsal ­ these can be tense and difficult because it is the first time for us doing scene changes and proper run throughs for the cast the most tense/nervous part of the week is the first night in case something goes wrong and remembering the procedures what s the worst thing you ve seen go wrong in a show we ve had one or two things go wrong over the years a couple of times we have had a scenery cloth get stuck half way across the stage when we have been trying to clear it the thing to do is not panic i can t remember ever failing with scene changes apart from the cloths because we are very lucky to have a great dedicated backstage crew who are extremely slick and experienced the other thing that happened once was a masking flat 15 feet high in the wings falling towards the audience when the braces gave way luckily we realised what was happening and caught it before it did any real damage what s next for you i hope to carry on for a few years yet before i retire i enjoy it too much to finish just yet you never know i might just make 50 years service photo j g skidmore


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production team director musical director choreographer assistant to the director production coordinator stage manager assistant stage manager scenery provided by lighting design engineer assisted by sound design and operation stage crew costumes designed supplied by dressers make up design assisted by hair and wigs properties design assisted by properties supplied by prompts rehearsal pianists rehearsal refreshments graphic design photography publicity archivist box office front of house managers front of house staff chris biggs john nye vicky ellis joy skeels louisa nye barry greenaway mike waite scenic projects richard ostler nigel millward mike ward dave williams louisa nye patrick biggs brian burrows nick cook phil evans hannah nye lawrence organ-jennings dick richards brian rooke malcolm walters kate schomberg marilyn moore rosie young becky launchbury beverley lapworth anne newell judy clark stacey coles naomi barrant naomi giles teresa miller claire dowdeswell jane maggs abingdon operatic society and howarth wrightson ltd marilyn moore ann turton glynne butt ian miles annette miller sue payne brian stovold lesley donovan phil evans valerie findlay wendy marler amanda robinson ian skeels george riddell phil hughes martin mellor lesley donovan mike davies amanda robinson marilyn moore chris davies marilyn moore vaughan billings ann turton felice armstrong jacki ash delia bull deborah bater chris bryan diana bryan brian burrows barbara cambrey-denton dennis garrett john goss pat greenaway kath hadris hugh hercus michael hurd steve hinds lewis hinds pat hockley maggie ingram chris jones ruth lawtin mike maggs niall moore peter moore dennis osment neil passingham kevin pope gordon skidmore alistair smith sue smith victoria smith tom tompsett angela towler janet trinder chris turton chris waite ian wheeler nigel winter pam verrall barbara verrall confectionery


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affiliated to the national operatic dramatic association and oxford drama network president katharine duchess of kent vice-president julie mayhew-archer chairman chris biggs vice-chairman martin mellor secretary kerry chaundy treasurer vaughan billings minutes secretary anne widdup committee members lesley donovan claire dowdeswell phil hughes john nye caroline organ-jennings joy skeels honorary life members mrs f armstrong mrs h calvert-fisher mrs j clark j eddy h foster r johnson mrs i macdonald t nixon mrs b tandy patrons j e boon mrs r brooks c d bryan mr mrs r bush mr mrs r cambrey-denton mr mrs n e l carter d w church d f h clarke mrs a j deane mrs p dickinson j j field r finnerty g green b gurden mr s harmsworth dr e harris mp mrs a m hasnip j t hyman mrs e v kerr dr mrs n h kitching mrs m j long mrs d mckay mrs i m margrim w d j marshall mrs g mein mr mrs h midwinter a miles dr n r moore mrs b a newport mr mrs p j o hare mr mrs d r rawlinson mrs c ridge c g ross mrs l sandford b j stayte m r taylor tonks brothers funerals mrs d turner c b turton mrs m warrell r j wicks the society is indebted to its patrons for their support if you cannot play an active part but nevertheless would like to help us why not become a patron the current annual minimum fee is £15 your donation which will be gratefully received will help offset the ever-increasing cost of staging shows for local audiences for enrolment or further details please write to ann turton ladybrook house castle street steventon abingdon oxfordshire ox13 6rs the society would like to thank abingdon library for assistance with publicity abingdon lions club for volunteering to be car parking marshals abingdon school for their help and co-operation ask italian restaurant abingdon for display of banner carswell school for car parking facilities mr and mrs j goss for storage of scenery and effects newbury building society for providing box office facilities mr mrs m schomberg for display of banner st john ambulance for attendance at each performance trinity church abingdon for their co-operation in the use of rehearsal facilities charities supported recently by aos future talent samantha dickson brain tumour trust if you would like to become a member of abingdon operatic society please contact the membership secretary john nye on 01235 543188 or email interested in helping backstage lighting sound or stage crew contact claire dowdeswell on 01296 331365 to be included on our mailing or email list please write to joy skeels hope house roke wallingford oxon ox10 6jd are you a good pianist the society is looking for musicians to play at our rehearsals for more details contact john nye on 01235 543188 abingdon operatic society is registered charity number 273149 abingdon operatic society


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nancy wing valerie findlay mike davies kat ballard-martin katie rooke gill skidmore joy skeels wendy marler suzi rooke salma craig coming to abingdon in autumn 2010 the pirates of penzance monday 25th saturday 30th october 2010 pre-audition read-in on tuesday 27th april new members welcome see our web site for more detail



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