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Promenade Productions’ Theatre Archive

South Pacific – press quotes


Mark Shenton, Daily Express

“The show radiates joy”

 

David Mellor, Mail on Sunday

“Productions of musicals as good as this don’t come along very often, so catch it if you can.”

“Paulo Szot’s big number, This Nearly Was Mine, brought the house down, and rightly so.”

 

Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail

“SOME ENCHANTED EVENING”

“When Paulo Szot sings the wonderful sound of his rich baritone makes your heart ache”

“Womack gives the best performance of her career. You won’t want to wash this girl outta your hair”

“Bartlett Sher’s TRIUMPH”

Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph

**** FOUR STARS

“AN ENCHANTED EVENING IN THE SOUTH SEAS”

“A CLASSIC OF AMERICAN MUCIAL THEATRE REVIVED WITH THE LOVE AND RESPECT IT DESERVES”

Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard

“Paulo Szot is the undeniable star of the show. His voice is a thing of splendour”

Michael Covenay, What’s On Stage

Bartlett Sher’s Lincoln Center production is sharp and sassy, beautifully designed by Michael Yeargan… the score is imperishable and reawakens its bewitching dramatic composition in which dialogue, sentiment and music are held in perfect sway”

Libby Purves, The Times

 

“Paulo Szot’s baritone steals your soul like a sunset in a warm ocean”

“Samantha Womack is an enchanting Nellie”

Laura Silverman, The Mail

 

***** FIVE STARS

 

“Michael Yeargan’s set includes an exquisite backdrop of the South Pacific waters”

“The score, played emotively by a twenty five piece orchestra, fills the auditorium with opulent expanses of sound for much of the three hours”

THE LINCOLN CENTER – UK PRODUCTION IS FAULTLESS

Julie Carpenter, The Express

 

“SOUTH PACIFIC IS HARD TO BEAT”

Tim Auld, Sunday Telegraph

 

“Samantha Womack will make headlines for her sassy performance”

“Also remarkable is Paulo Szot who blows the theatre away with his rendition of Some Enchanted Evening

Christopher Hart, Sunday Times

 

“Don Holder’s beautiful lighting effects passing through all the colours of the rainbow”

Robert Gore-Langton, Mail on Sunday

 

“Richard Rodgers’ score is ripplingly lush and the hit songs are virtually non-stop – from the eerily seductive Bali H’ai to the aching romance of Some Enchanted Evening and the sex starved sailors’ song There is Nothing Like a Dame”

 

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THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE

Promenade Productions and Genesius Theatrical Productions produced the Scottish Opera and D’Oyly Carte production of The Pirates of Penzance in 2013 at the following venues:

Manchester, Opera House
11 – 15 June 2013

Bristol, Hippodrome
18 – 22 June 2013

Newcastle, Theatre Royal
25 – 29 June 2013

Oxford, New Theatre
2 – 6 July 2013

Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre
16 – 20 July 2013

It received excellent reviews including:

 ‘GILBERT AND SULLIVAN’S SWASHBUCKLING CLASSIC IS STILL BRINGING THE HOUSE DOWN. PHENOMENAL’ Manchester Evening News

‘THIS SLICK AND GORGEOUS-LOOKING CO-PRODUCTION BETWEEN SCOTTISH OPERA AND D’OYLY CARTE IS IN A DIFFERENT LEAGUE’ Daily Telegraph

‘**** FRESH AND VITAL. A GREAT NIGHT’S ENTERTAINMENT’ The Scotsman

‘A G&S EVENING SHOULD BE PURE PLEASURE. THIS PRODUCTION DELIVERS THAT IN GENEROUS MEASURE’ Scottish Daily Express

‘IT’S FEEL-GOOD ALL THE WAY, WITH A GREAT SCORE, FABULOUS PERFORMANCES AND A UNIQUE COLLABORATION BETWEEN D’OYLY CARTE AND SCOTTISH OPERA’  Newcastle Chronicle

Further details: http://piratestheshow.com/

 

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SOUTH PACIFIC by Rodgers & Hammerstein

Barbican & UK Tour 2011

This breathtaking and lavish Lincoln Center Theater production reinvented the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein show, swept the 2008 Tony Awards, played to sold-out houses on Broadway, and was televised across America.

Set on a tropical island during World War II, this is the sweeping romantic story of two couples, threatened by the realities of war and by their own prejudices. Its portrayal of Americans stationed in an alien culture in wartime is as poignant today as when it first thrilled audiences in 1949.

Considered one of the finest musicals ever written, the score includes Some Enchanted Evening, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair and There is Nothin’ Like a Dame.

Promenade is co-producing South Pacific with Genesius Theatrical Productions, Robert Boyett Inc, the Ambassadors Theatre Group and Bob Bartner.

Barbican Dates:
15th Aug to 1st Oct 2011

for PRESS QUOTES click here

 

 

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THE MYSTERIES National Theatre

Director Bill Bryden’s Royal National Theatre Production by Tony Harrison 1999/2000

Part of The Mysteries Cycle

In a unique celebration of the Millennium, the Royal National Theatre revived one of the most famous shows in its history — The Mysteries, a great cycle of medieval plays, which are part of the foundation of our culture.

The original creative team reunited to present a new version of their epoch-making show specially recorded by Promenade Productions. First performed in a sell-out run at the National in 1985, before transferring to the West End, The Mysteries met with unanimous acclaim:

‘I was as enthralled, exhilarated and moved as I have ever been in a theatre in all my life.’ Bernard Levin, The Times.

‘An extraordinary experience, no wonder the end of it all saw an explosion of communal joyousness with everybody, actors, musicians, and audience alike, cheering and clapping and singing and dance.’ Evening Standard.

‘From 1977 Bill Bryden, with Tony Harrison, Bill Dudley, John Tams and a team of actors took periods of time to develop their work on The Mysteries and to find again a lost technique, the style of playing highly alliterative verse, designed for public speaking in public places. It is verse energetic enough to surmount the noise of passers-by and tough enough, with its defining consonants, never to die on the wind: a truly public speech. The Mystery Plays are essentially popular art, designed for large mass audiences in open spaces. It difficult to revive these works when the audience’s preoccupations are different and society has completely changed. Too easily, the naivety can be false, and the populist approach patronising. By modern music, celebrating the repetition and vitality of Northern speech, and rooting the plays in working-class environment this production has reclaimed them for our times and shown them for what they are: an essential part of our dramatic heritage. Without them, Shakespeare and his contemporaries would have written in a very different way for a very different theatre.’ Sir Peter Hall

CAST

in alphabetical order

Peter Armitage

Stephen Bent

David Bradley

Cathryn Bradshaw

David Busby

Paul Copley

Robert Oates

Joe Duttine

William Gaunt

Sue Johnston

Trevor Laird

William MacBain

John Normington

Joanna Page

Trevor Ray

Iain Robertson

Jack Shepherd

John Tams

Howard Ward

Don Warrington

MUSIC

Music Director/guitar/vocals – Graeme Taylor

Bass guitar/vocals – Jonathan Davie

Trumpet/flugelhorn – Stephen Dawson

Keyboard – Alan Dunn

Percussion – Michael Gregory

Euphonium/tuba – Kevin Morgan

Vocals – John Tams

Vocal/woodwind – Keith Thompson

Violin/vocals – Roger Wilson

Vocals Linda – Thompson

Music recorded at Snake Ranch Studios, London

Engineered by John Gallon and Nik Lederer

Dialogue recorded at Motivation Sound Studios, London

Studio manager – Mark Smith

Editing and post production by Ray Williams

Cover designed by Lawrence Morton

Painting Detail of The Adoration of the Magi by Gentile do Fabriano, Uffizi gallery, Florence

Music – John Tams and Graeme Taylor

Associate Director – Sebastian Graham Jones

CD production – John Tams and Sebastian Graham Jones

Producer – Nicholas Newton

Director – Bill Bryden

Remembered: John Barrett, Richard Bird, JG Devlin, Brian Glover, Sebastian Graham Jones, Caroline Hutchison, Fulton Mackay, Mark McManus, John Normington, Derek Newark, Bill Owen, John Price, Sir Robert Stephens, Pit Wilkinson.

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THE PASSION National Theatre

in a version by Tony Harrison, 1999

Part of The Mysteries Cycle

In a unique celebration of the Millennium, the Royal National Theatre revived one of the most famous shows in its history – The Mysteries, a great cycle of medieval plays, which are part of the foundation of our culture. The original creative team have reunited to present a new version of their epoch-making show. By rooting the plays in a gritty working environment and using contemporary music, Tony Harrison’s superb adaptations have reclaimed these seminal works for our times.

The Passion recounts Christ’s story from his Baptism in the river Jordan to the Road to Calvary and the Crucifixion.

This recording was broadcast in five parts on BBC Radio 4 – the final episode, The Crucifixion, on Good Friday 2000.

Episode 1: The Baptism of Christ.
The Entry into Jerusalem and The Last Supper.

Episode 2: Pilate and Percula.
The agony and the Betrayal. The Palace of the High Priest, Cayphas. Peter Denies Christ.

Episode 3: Jesus examined by the High Priest, Cayphas.
The remorse of Judas. The Trial before Pilate and the Judgement of Jesus.

Episode 4: The Road to Calvary.

Episode 5: The Crucifixion. Christ on the Cross.

CAST

Peter Armitage

Stephen Bent

David Bradley

Cathryn Bradshaw

David Busby

Paul Copley

Joe Duttine

William Gaunt

Sue Johnston

Trevor Laird

William MacBain

John Normington

Joanna Page

Trevor Ray

Iain Robertson

Jack Shepherd

John Tams

Howard Ward

Don Warrington

 

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THE NATIVITY National Theatre

in a version by Tony Harrison, 1999

Part of The Mysteries Cycle

In a unique celebration of the Millennium, the Royal National Theatre revived one of the most famous shows in its history — The Mysteries, a great cycle of medieval plays, which are part of the foundation of our culture.

The Nativity tells the story of the birth of Christ, attended by the Shepherds and the three Kings, the flight into Egypt and Herod’s slaughter of the Innocents.

CAST

in alphabetical order

Peter Armitage

Stephen Bent

David Bradley

Cathryn Bradshaw

David Busby

Paul Copley

Robert Dates

Joe Duttine

William Gaunt

Sue Johnston

Trevor Laird

William MacBain

John Normington

Joanna Page

Trevor Ray

Iain Robertson

Jack Shepherd

John Tams

Howard Ward

Don Warrington

 

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DOOMSDAY National Theatre

in a version by Tony Harrison, 1999

Part of The Mysteries Cycle

In a unique celebration of the Millenium, the Royal National Theatre revived one of the most famous shows in its history – The Mysteries, a great cycle of medieval plays, which are part of the foundation of our culture. The original creative team reunited to present a new version of their epoch-making show.

By rooting the plays in a gritty working environment and using contemporary music, Tony Harrison’s superb adaptations reclaimed these seminal works for our times.

Doomsday, the third part of the cycle, celebrates the ascension of Christ into Heaven, the death of his mother, Mary, her ascension and the end of the world as told in the Apocrypha.

CAST

in alphabetical order

Peter Armitage
Stephen Bent

David Bradley
Cathryn Bradshaw
Joe Duttine

William Gaunt

Sue Johnston

Trevor Laird

William MacBain

John Normington

Joanna Page

Trevor Ray

Iain Robertson

Jack Shepherd
John Tams

Howard Ward

Don Warrington

 

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BABY DOLL by Tennessee Williams

Birmingham Rep Theatre / Royal National Theatre
Presented by Promenade Productions and ATG

Baby Doll tells the story of the childlike bride of a Mississippi cotton gin owner, who becomes the pawn in a battle between her husband and his enemy. Archie Lee Meighan, middle-aged cotton gin owner, can hardly wait for the 20th birthday of his childish bride Baby Doll, when he’ll be allowed to consummate the marriage…he thinks. But rival owner Silva Vaccaro suspects Archie of burning his gin down, and takes an erotic form of Sicilian vengeance.

AWARDS

Jonathan Cake – Best Actor, Barclays Theatre Awards

Bunny Christie – Best Designer, Evening Standard Awards

“The fusion of film and stage works wonderfully well and puts us back in touch with the greatest American playwright of the last century at the peak of his powers… The evening delivers a glorious affidavit to Williams and will, I promise you, be remembered as a landmark revival.”
Daily Mail

CAST

Baby Doll CHARLOTTE EMMERSON

Archie Lee Meighan – PAUL BRENNEN

Aunt Rose Comfort – GEORGINE ANDERSON

Silva Vacarro – JONATHAN CAKE

Rock – JOHN MARQUEZ

Stanley – MAC MCDONALD

Doctor John – ED BISHOP

Art – ED BISHOP

Mac – KEN SHORTER

Sid & Furniture Removal Boss – BEN CRAZE

Billy & Man At Doctor’s – PATRICK POLETTI

Moses – ABI GOUHAD

Boy & Norm – JIMMY AKINGBOLA

Moose – ALEXANDER JAMES SIMON

Understudies – Helen Gardiner, Diana Oxford

COMPANY

Producer – Nicholas Newton

Co-producer – Ed Crozier

Director – Lucy Bailey

Designer – Bunny Christie

Lighting – Chris Davey

Music – Django Bates

Sound Designer – Ed Clarke

General Manager – Matthew Gale

Production Manager – Bill Wardroper

Company And Stage Manager – Jane Semark

Deputy Stage Manager – Judith Barrow

Assistant Stage Manager Al Cooper

Accounting – Steven Thomson

 

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THE BIG PICNIC by Bill Bryden

Harland & Wolff Engine Shed, Govan, Glasgow
28 Sep – 13 Nov 1994 & BBC2 Television 1996

The Battle of The Somme and the subsequent trench warfare on the Western Front from 1914-1918, stamped the then-new 20th Century with its most enduring image: No Mans Land, that lethal wasteland of devastation which signalled the end of both innocence and faith with its sudden destruction of the natural world and human life by a completely new and terrifying mechanised process. It was this, strangely visual event that we wanted to describe and commemorate 80 years later and where better, we thought, than Harland and Wolff where we had staged The Ship in 1990. The shed seemed to contain the very essence of the early 20th Century machine age so appropriate for this most grim industrialised war.

We decided to lay out a section of the wasteland exploiting the great size of our shed/theatre. Because its very length of 250 feet was no more than the amount of ground sometimes gained after days of fighting which often cost thousands of lives. To utilise this epic space to the full, we again adopted the promenade style, where the audience move with the action so that they too advance along the 250ft and retreat and advance again and retreat again before the day is over. The other element in our wasteland is our version of the old theatrical device known as the Deus-ex-Machina or The God of the Machine, which in 17th Century theatre lowered in the Gods and the Goddesses. In our version, we have reinstated the bridge crane as used when the shed was first built and which rides on the original rails that can carry over 50 tonne. This mobile crane represents the remorseless, inhuman tide of destruction as it cruises back and forth, like a great bird scavenging over the battlefield. Its central icon is the Angel of Death, here called the Angel of Mons. She is a distillation of the many (over 10,000) sightings and mass hallucinations reported by allied soldiers, who saw visions of angels and folk heroes, saints and lost relatives in the sky over the Western Front. For us, she is the arbitrary hand of fate and the bringer of release from this hell.

In researching this piece, I have been struck by a paradox of trench warfare which many poets and artists have described and that is the terrible beauty of it all, particularly at night with the searchlights and starshell tracer bullets and gas clouds playing over the underground city of the trenches. We have tried to evoke this eerie firework display whose effect was so sinister, despite its beauty and scale. My own grandfather was gassed on the Somme but he would never talk to me about it. In working on our show, I have come closer to understand what he went through. William Dudley (Designer)

CAST

Colours – Jimmy Logan

Hughie Frizell – Russell Hunter

Billy Blair – Iain Connell

Frankie Nealon – Gary Bakewell

Morris Burns – William MacBain

Russell Enoch – Stuart Bowman

Norrie Beaton – Derek Riddell

Gus Adams – Lain MacColl

Miss Fensom – Morag Hood

Bunty – Juliet Cadzow

Nessie – Ashley Jensen

Rebecca – Victoria Nairn

Flora – Sandra McNeeley

Ian the Piper – Fred Morrison

Tam, a Miner – Lester Simpson

The Gaellain MacCaskill/Medical Orderly – Stephen Speed

An Angel – Deborah Pope

Oliver Roche Gordon – Sebastian Graham Jones

Gerhard Kupfler – Lewis Allan

Smythe – Freddie Boardley

SUPPORTING CAST

Tim Reid, Glen Thompson,Laurence Crawford, Kian Loose, Kenneth Reid, Barry Hunter, Stephen King, Kenneth McKie.

COMPANY

Director –
Bill Bryden

Co-Director –
Sebastian Graham Jones

Design –
William Dudley

Music –
John Tams

Additional Music –
Phil Cunningham

Movement –
Stuart Hopps

Lighting –
Chris Ellis

Producer –
Nicholas Newton

Technical Consultant –
Stewart Crosbie

Associate Producer –
Edward Crozier

General Manager –
Steven Thomson

Production Manager –
Simon Marlow
with David Thayers

Wardrobe Supervisors –
Anna Watkins with Carol Galloway

Stage Manager –
Anne Rushworth

Deputy Stage Manager –
Victoria Wynn

Assistant Stage Manager –
Ludo Wynn

Assistant Stage Manager –
Catherine Francis

Assistant to Stuart Hopps –
Stephen Speed

Sound Consultant –
Steve Jonas

Military Adviser –
Scott Weir

Automated Lighting –
Patrick Murray

BAND

Fred Morrison……pipes
Rod Paterson……vocals, acoustic guitar
James Prime……keyboards
John A Sampson……bugle, trumpet, whistles
Stuart Smith……bass guitar
Mike Travis……drums
Wendy Weatherby……vocals, cello, violin
Tadeusz Wyzgowski……Production Musical Director, vocals, guitars

 

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