Friday, March 23, 2012

Up For It at the Ormskirk Civic Hall March 2012

Up For It at the Ormskirk Civic Hall - A new musical comedy by Tony Crimlisk March 2012

I was fortunate to get to see the dress rehearsal last week and I am amazed at the energy and creativity, that Tony and U3A members have managed to put into the show. The huge jaundiced jalopy, spouting steam and light like some four wheeled dragon, brightens the stage and serves as a colourful focus for much of the on stage action.

Tony Crimlisk - Writer of Up for it - Music Comedy at Ormskirk Civic Hall March 2012
Tony Crimlisk - Writer of Up for it - Music Comedy at Ormskirk Civic Hall March 2012

For this, his second musical, Tony has produced an original piece of work, writing all the songs and pretty much all the lyrics. “Life goes on!” or alternatively “Some find love, some double love” are the themes of the show. The second half of the show wowed the audience with a spectacular dance sequence. The tunes were melodic and the lyrics, often bitter sweet, reflected the emotions felt by the characters. I found my foot tapping to the beat of several of the songs.

The proceeds from the sale of the book of lyrics went towards supporting the work of Cancer Research and the British Heart Foundation. Tickets were sold out for the Friday performance.

First performed at the Civic Hall,Ormskirk, Lancashire on 21st March 2012 by members of the Musical Theatre Group of the Aughton and Ormskirk branch of the University of the Third Age, the show follows a group of pensioners who travel by coach from Liverpool to London to join a rally in Trafalgar Square during which they intend to “strip off” as a protest against government pension cuts.

The coach driver, Fred, is envious of the pensioners who are mostly retired.  The group is led by Marge, with her friend Grace; both are widowed and on the look out for male companions. Also on the coach are Marge's niece Petunia (Pet for short) and Tom, who after profitably working in American for several years has decided to get out of the 'rat race' and settle down. Tom's younger brother John comes along to meet him together with some of the showgirls from 'Longjohn's' – a nightclub in the West End where he is host. He invites Tom and Pet to join him the following evening.

Pet is excited about being in London and Tom offers to show her around. Grace thinks she should be chaperoned and invites herself to join them. Pet and Grace however have very different sightseeing preferences; Pet likes history and culture while Grace takes a bloodthirsty interest in the bizarre and the gruesome. Bonnie, an ex-stripper also on the trip has plans to visist some of her old haunts in the city, but her hen pecked husband Arnold has other ideas, and whilst some of the group go shopping, he decides to join a group going to a football match.

Up for it - a musical comedy by Tony Crimlisk Ormskirk Civic Hall March 2012
Up for it - a musical comedy by Tony Crimlisk Ormskirk Civic Hall March 2012

In the second half Tom and Pet arrive at 'Longjohn's' nightclub breathless and excited after exploring the city's sights. They've had a great time and begin to realise that they are falling in love. The cabaret is about to start and Charley, the resident singer and comedian, performs together with the showgirls. As he finishes there is a commotion as marge and the others barge in afraid that Pet is being corrupted by bad company. Tom assures her that it is all very respectable and Pet describes how she and Tom feel about one another.The romantic atmosphere is contagious, and Grace comes clean about fancying Fred whilst Fred reveals that he is actually very taken with Marge. The two girls suggest sharing him!

Bonnie is worried because she has not heard from Arnold all day but he suddenly appears, slightly the worst for drink, escorted by two policewomen and closely followed by two heavily made-up 'Ladies' he's picked up from the stage door of a theatre. Bonnie and her rivals get into a scrap and exit fighting. Order restored, they all prepare for the big rally in Trafalgar Square the following day. But will they actually strip?
Marge Eunice Woof Man with paper Malcolm Stephens
Grace Dorothy Prothero His wife Ruth Grant
Tom Tony Crimlisk Woman 1 Cathleen Barnes
Petunia (Pet) Heather Furnivall Woman 2 Pauline Lloyd
Fred Stan Livingston Football fan 1 Peter Lloyd
John Colin Ratcliff Football fan 2 &
Betty Jo Gray Policewoman 2 Kathy Matthews
Bonnie Pearl Webster Shopper &
Arnold Bernie Bushell Policewoman 1 Cathleen Barnes
Charley & Hotel 'Tart' 1 Teresa Edwards
Manager Bill Edwards 'Tart' 2 Maureen Cox
Bunny Girls Gill O'Flaherty
plus Patsy Colvin
Sue Ray Ruth Grant
Bill Kelly
Michael Lomax

The Tap Dancers
Cameo appearances by Gill O'Flaherty
Katie and Daniel Webster Brenda Cavendish
Dorothy Prohero
The Banner Boys Heather Furnival
Incognito! Kate Hurley
Patsy Colvin
Ruth Grant
Front of House Sandra Jackson
Judith Crimlisk Sylvia Scobie

Production team
Produced and driected by Pauline Jones
Musical director Tony Crimlisk
Assistant musical director Jo Gray
Choreographers Gill O'Flaherty
Shirley Fox
Scenery Malcolm Stephens
Brian Ingman
Colin Ratcliff
Les Parkes
Tony Adamson
Stage Manager & Scenery Les Parkes
Prompt Judy Ingman
Make-up Pearl Webster

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1 comment:

  1. Update: The Up For It musical comedy by Anthony Crimlisk at Ormskirk Civic Hall raised the folowing amounts.

    Sale of booklet = £370
    Raffles proceeds = £460
    Total of £830.

    A worthy amount and considering the state of the economy an outstanding amount.