MUSICAL SHOWS - H-M

HALF A SIXPENCE

Performed in 1999

The play opens in Shalford's Drapery Emporium where Kipps works and lives as an apprentice draper. Ann, Kipps's childhood sweetheart, is in service so they don't get much chance to see each other. Kipps thinks that a lovers token might help the romance along but the next day brings news that is to change his life. He learns that solicitors are looking for him and consequently gets a little drunk. He is marched off to join his woodwork class run by Helen Walsingham. Kipps falls for her without much hope. Ann is cross with Kipps for not meeting her and walks out on him just before he learns that he has inherited a fortune. Spurred on by his new social standing Kipps proposes to Helen, but her family pressure makes him realise that Ann is his first and real love. Kipps and Ann marry but his yearning to maintain his social standing creates problems between them which are only resolved when a fortune is lost. A small fortune is offered to him ... he rejects it. "What a rum do everything is," he comments.

HELLO DOLLY

Performed in 1973, 1980, 1997 & 2007

Hello, Dolly! is the story of Mrs. Levi's efforts to marry Horace Vandergelder, the well-known half-millionaire, so that she can send his money circulating like rainwater, t not her late husband Ephraim Levi taught her. Along the way she also succeeds in that matching the young and beautiful Widow Molloy with Vandergelder's head clerk, Cornelius Hackl; Cornelius's assistant Barnaby Tucker with Mrs. Molloy's loop assistant, Minnie Fay; and the struggling artist Ambrose Kemper with Mr. Vandergelder's weeping niece, Ermengarde. Mrs. Levi tracks Vandergelder to his hay and feed store in Yonkers, then by train back to Mrs. Molloy's hat shop in New York, out into the streets of the city where they are all caught up in the great 14th Street Association Parade, and then to the most evident and expensive restaurant in town, the Harmonia Gardens, where Dolly is greeted by the waiters, cooks, doormen and wine stewards in one of the most famous songs in the history of American musical comedy, "Hello, Dolly!"

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IRENE

Performed in 1995

Irene O'Dare helps her widowed mother in a little music shop in New York City. She's not unhappy, but she feels there must be more to life than this - the world, she says, must be bigger than Ninth Avenue. Against all tradition, she intends to be a successful business woman. In fact, she installs a telephone in the shop - the first in the neighbourhood. And the very first time the phone rings, Irene is asked to tune the pianos at a very swanky Long Island house. There she meets Donald Marshall, a young tycoon, and despite his rather aloof manner, she is immediately captivated by him. Donald is intrigued by this cheerful lass, so unlike the society girls his mother has been urging him to marry. He is particularly taken by her description of her adventures when she wore her favourite dress - her 'Alice Blue Gown'.

JEKYLL & HYDE

Performed in 2008

An evocative tale of romance and the epic battle between good and evil, Jekyll & Hyde is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story about a brilliant doctor whose experiments with human personality create a murderous counterpart. Close the finding a ‘key to duality,’ Sir Danvers Carew encourages Henry Jekyll to present his findings to the board of Governors of St Jude’s Hospital. The Governors reject Jekyll’s proposal and still angry from this, he arrives late to his own engagement party. Here Jekyll’s soon to be wife Emma Carew pledges her support for his experiments and that night Jekyll meets Lucy Harris at the Red Rat while out celebrating with his closest friend John Utterson. At home, Jekyll records in his journal that he has no choice but to experiment on himself and soon he is transformed into Edward Hyde, his murderous counterpart, who sets about gaining revenge for Jekyll. This musical is a mixture of Romance, passion and murder in the streets of 19th Century London.

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LILAC DOMINO

Performed in 1936

At Hotel Parnasse in Nice, during Carnival, at a masquerade ball, everyone is amazed by news that the wealthy old Lyons silk merchant Gaston Le Sage has found a new young bride, a widow named Leonie Lemmonnier. However, Leonie is more interested in Gaston's shy young step-nephew, Paul, who has been promised to Gaston's 18-year-old daughter Georgine. Georgine arrives masked and identified only as the "Lilac Domino". Meanwhile, three young men have lost heavily at cards. They agree that one must seek a wealthy bride in order to repay their gambling debts. Count André de St. Armand is chosen by the roll of dice to do the marrying. Fortunately, he has already fallen in love with a girl in a lilac domino. However, Georgine learns of the dice game, believes that André is wooing her only for her money, and breaks things off with him even though she returns his love. A gypsy violinist helps to solve the complications and unite the lovers. All ends happily.

MADE IN DAGENHAM!

Performed in 2019

Based on the 2010 film of the same name, Made in Dagenhamis drawn from the real-life 1968 sewing machinists strike at the Ford factory in Dagenham, Essex. This strike was influential in the passing of the Equal Pay Act of 1970. The musical focuses on the leader of the strike, Rita O’Grady, as she encourages the women of the Ford factory to walk out after they are re-classified as unskilled workers, while their male counterparts see their wages increase. After Rita is patronized and snubbed by the factory at a union meeting, the women’s grievances over their worker status turn into a fight for equal pay.

MAID OF THE MOUNTAINS

Performed in 1940 & 1959

The Maid of the Mountains is an escapist story set in a bandit camp, high up in the mountains (presumably in Italy). The bandit maid Teresa loves the bandit chief, Baldassaré, who is feared by the whole country. Baldassaré's men are unhappy because of the decision of Baldassaré to disband, and they ask Teresa to dissuade him. Baldassaré gives Teresa and the others their shares of the spoils of many raids. He tells her that she must leave at once, because their hiding place is surrounded. She pleads to be allowed to stay, but goes sadly. The local Governor, General Malona, captures Teresa and brings her to the Palace of Santo. He wishes to capture the rebel band before the impending end of his term of office. He promises Teresa her freedom if Baldassaré is captured. Teresa refuses, as "there is honour among thieves."

MERRIE ENGLAND

Performed in 1953

During the May Day festival, the May Queen is crowned with "roses white and roses red ... the flowers of Merrie England". Her two guards are introduced – Long Tom and Big Ben – who are brothers identical in all but one thing. The "little difference between them" is that Big Ben (like the other men in Windsor) loves the May Queen, while Long Tom loves Jill (known as Jill-All-Alone). Jill is accused of being a witch by the jealous May Queen and is shunned by the townsfolk.

MISS HOOK OF HOLLAND

Performed in 1949

Mrs. Hook died young, leaving her husband with a daughter, little Sally Hook. Ludwig Schnapps, the foreman of Mr. Hook's factory, tells the story of how pretty little Miss Hook possessed a remarkable aptitude for business. By force of her character and her shrewdness, plus her invention of a wonderful liqueur called "Cream of the Sky", Mr. Hook found himself at the head of a thriving establishment, with a considerable fortune in the bank. Simon Slinks, the leader of a group of lazy loafers picks up a piece of paper accidentally dropped by Mr. Hook, which turns out to be the secret recipe for Cream of the Sky. The cheese merchants arrive, followed by a dashing officer, Adrian Papp, who heads the local army unit. Papp is courting Sally, but she seems to prefer the Bandmaster van Vuyt.

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HEAR THE PEOPLE SING!

Performed in 2000

H.M.S PINAFORE

Performed in 1926, 1970 & 1994

Drawing on several of his earlier "bab ballad" poems, Gilbert embued HMS Pinafore with mirth and silliness to spare. The opera's gentle satire reprises and builds upon one of The Sorcerer's themes: Love between members of different social classes. The gentlemanly Captain of the Pinafore, who claims that he would never swear at his crew (What, Never?), does not know that his daughter has fallen in love with a common sailor serving on her father's ship. Meanwhile, the Captain has arranged for her to marry the First Lord of the Admiralty, Sir Joseph Porter. Sir Joseph himself has risen from humble beginnings to gain his office by political acumen, despite having never gone to sea! And the Captain himself fancies a poor bumboat woman. Fear not: it all works out in the end. Hip, hip, hoorah!

IOLANTHE

Performed in 1921 & 1990

The story of the opera, taken partly from "The Fairy Curate" in the Bab Ballads, deals with Strephon, a young Arcadian shepherd, who is half a fairy as his Mother had married a mortal. This not unnaturally leads to complications when Phyllis, his inamorata, sees him fondly kissing a young and beautiful woman—for fairies never grow old—and at first she quite reasonably refuses to believe that her supposed rival is none other than Strephon's own Mother.

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KISS ME KATE

Performed in 1977, 1989 & 2005

A musical version of "The Taming of the Shrew" is about to open in Baltimore. In the show with producer- actor Fred Graham are his former wife, Lilli; Lois, a singer in whom he is interested; and Bill Calhoune, who is Lois's interest. The irresponsible Bill informs Lois that he has signed Fred's name to a 10,000 dollar IOU for gambling debts. She begs him to reform. Fred and Lilli patch up their differences as they reminisce nostalgically about other shows in which they have appeared together. Fred sends a bouquet to Lois, which is delivered in error to Lilli. On stage as Katherina, Lilli discovers that the bouquet was meant for Lois and threatens to leave the show. Her departure is prevented by two gangsters who have come to collect the IOU with Fred's signature. As the first Act ends she is raging, both in character and reality.

LES MISERABLES (SCHOOL EDITION)

Performed by the Youth Group in 2009

The Melton Musical Theatre Company kicked off its 90th Anniversary celebrations with a production of Les Miserables (School Edition.) It is an enthralling story, a great blazing pageant of life and death at the barricades, in political 19th century France. A tragedy of the student revolution and beyond… The story follows the despair and chase of Jean Valjean, from his imprisonment for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family, his parole and subsequent escape and attempts to form a better life. He is pursued by Javert, police inspector and prison captor. Interwoven are stories of love, friendship and sacrifice through songs ranging from the joyous ‘Master of the House’ to the haunting ‘Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.’

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Performed in 2010

Seymour Krelbourn, a florist’s assistant, has his life turned around when he comes across an unusual plant following an eclipse of the sun. Naming the plant “Audrey II” after the salesgirl who he loves, Seymour tries to grow the plant, to no avail… until he discovers its true diet: BLOOOD. As the plant thrives, bringing Seymour fame and fortune, the two strike a Faustian pact: Audrey II agrees to attract publicity if Seymour continues feeding it. Seymour, his boss Mushnik, Audrey and her abusive dentist boyfriend are swept into the plant’s evil machinations as its true motives become fear. based on Roger Corman’s film, Little Shop Of Horrors took Broadway by storm with its offbeat humour and show-stealing Audrey II, whose rhythm and blues numbers never fail to bring down the house.

LOCK UP YOUR DAUGHTERS

Performed in 1976

Licentious London, 1735. The age of the coffee-house politician, the corrupt Justice, and the young gallant whose principal delight is the ravishing of virtuous maidens.
Unversed in the wicked ways of the world young Hilaret sallies forth from the over-protective walls of Papa's house resolved to elope with her beloved Captain Constant. Separated from her maid, Cloris, during a street scuffle, she finds herself in a deuced dangerous situation with a distinctly virile young gentleman named Ramble. Her cries for assistance only lead her into further peril, for she and Ramble are both hauled on trumped-up charges before that rogue of rogues, Mr Justice Squeezum.
Once in custody, Hilaret becomes the latest apple of the Justice's ever-wandering eye, while Ramble is "rescued" by the bountifully amorous Mrs Squeezum. That Constant, too, happens at that moment to be in jail is just one of the lucky circumstances that eventually resolve this rumbustious story.

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ME & MY GIRL

Performed in 1998

Who turns out to be the long-lost heir to the Baronetcy of Hareford, its 17th Baron and 8th Viscount? Lambeth's own Cockney sparrow, Bill Snibson, that's who. He has his own girlfriend, Sally, but that won't stop gold-digger Lady Jacqueline. She ditches her dumbfounded boyfriend, Gerald, when Mr Parchester, the family solicitor, presents Bill to the flabbergasted family as the new son and heir. But Bill has still to win the family's approval to inherit the title - and the money. If he doesn't, he'll be given an annuity and sent away. The formidable Duchess is determined Bill should stay, insisting that all will be well and, with a little grooming, Bill will be suitable to inherit. There will be an official reception to introduce him to the county set. But Sally is not to be invited. Bill faces up to the Duchess - no Sally, no Bill. But Sally doesn't want to come anyway - not to a posh party. The party goes ahead and Sally turns up in full Cockney get-up complete with a posse of pearly kings and queens who perform the 'Lambeth Walk' to prove Bill doesn't belong. But they are all invited to the reception and go into dinner.