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Redditch Operatic Society (ROS)

Redditch Operatic Society (ROS): the area's biggest amateur operatic society and musical theatre group performing at the Palace Theatre in Redditch, Worcestershire

Redditch Operatic Society: musical theatre group performing at the Palace Theatre, Redditch

Half A Sixpence

Half A Sixpence

Tue 26 to Sat 30 November 1996
Performed at the Palace Theatre, Redditch

Producer - Ian Thompson
Musical Director - Norma Kift
Choreographer - Lesley Stocker
Society Accompanist - Adrienne Lloyd-Lucas

Principal Cast

Character Performed by
Arthur Kipps Kevin Hirons
Sid David Cooper
Buggins John McGrath
Pearce Jon Morris
Carshot Alan Hirons
Flo Tracy Rees
Victoria Beverley Hatton
Kate Heather Shelley
Emma Jean MacDonald
Mr Shalford Barrie Cole
Mrs Walsingham Jean Chalk
Mrs Botting Eileen Parish
Ann Alison Adams
Young Walsingham Tony Lacey
Helen Elizabeth Bird
Chitterlow Julian Wilson
Laura Sarah Grant
Edith Rosalyn Chalk
Student Bob Taylor

Reviews

No half measures from lively cast

Efficiency! Economy! Redditch Operatic Society's production of Half A Sixpence opened with the idea of scrimping and saving in this rags-to-riches tale with a twist. Set in Folkestone at the turn of the century, it is the story of Arthur Kipps, a poor apprentice at the Drapery Emporium run by the pompous and pennywise Mr Shalford.

Kipps gives his childhood sweetheart Ann a token of his love - half a sixpence, so she is reminded of him when they are apart. But when Kipps meets an actor called Chitterlow who tells him that Kipps has inherited a large fortune, his simple life with Ann is threatened as his is swept up into high society.

Redditch Operatic Society's production was thankfully anything but economical, as the cast turned out a fine performance of this energetic musical. The production included favourite ballads and songs, including If The Rain's Got To Fall and the title song, although the highlight was a rousing version of Flash, Bang, Wallop! illustrated by some clever choreography.

The interpretation had some wonderfully humorous touches, particularly Julian Wilson's portrayal of the actor Chitterlow. His over-the-top performance was a hit with the audience, and was made even more enjoyable by his obvious delight in the role. Leading man Kevin Hirons also gave a lively performance as Kipps and his comic timing brought out the irony of the production beautifully.

All of which goes to show that even if money can't guarantee you happiness, Half A Sixpence goes a long way towards a very enjoyable evening's entertainment.

Redditch Advertiser, December 1996

Well cast, well produced, well performed

A well cast, well produced, well performed presentation of this popular musical show. Everyone enjoys Half A Sixpence, players and audience alike, and it was obvious in this case that the players were having a whale of a time and this enthusiasm was coveyed across the footlights.

The part of 'Kipps' played by very talented Kevin Hirons was quite endearing and so was 'Ann' played by Alison Adams, she had everybody's sympathy from the word go.

Julian Wilson made a very explosive buffoon of 'Chitterlow' and Barrie Cole's 'Shalford' was comically 'demonic'. A most enjoyable evening again with this hospitable society.

NODA News, Midland Area, Spring 1997

Our View

The society had a smaller company than usual for this production, which suited the story well. Apart from the main focus of the story - Kipps - there are five major parts and at least a dozen secondary parts. In fact, if you take out all our gentlemen who played a 'named' role, we were only left with three men in the chorus! Still, you wouldn't notice any gaps!

The show marked the final (for now) production of Ian Thompson for the Society, and choreography was by Lesley Stocker, whose dancers from the Woodlands School of Dancing in Northfield also featured in the production.

Our five-night run had excellent audience figures (94% of capacity), and we found that the show was very popular probably due to those fondly remembering the Tommy Steele film. The company, too, enjoyed the show - particularly the undoubted highlight - Flash Bang Wallop!

Synopsis

Main Songs

  • All In The Cause Of Economy
  • Half A Sixpence
  • Money To Burn
  • A Proper Gentleman
  • If The Rain's Got To Fall
  • Flash, Bang, Wallop!
  • The Party's On The House

The Story

Arthur Kipps, an orphan now aged twenty, is an apprentice shop man in Mr Shalford's Drapery Emporium, one of the most fashionable shops in Victorian Folkestone.

Ann Pornick, Sid's sister, is Kipps' childhood sweetheart, but they don't have much opportunity to spend time together. To Make up for this, Kipps gives Ann a token of his love - half a sixpence, so that Ann can be reminded of him when they are apart.

One day, whilst in the shop, Kipps literally bumps into an excitable actor called Chitterlow, who informs him that Kipps is about to inherit a large legacy. With all this money, Kipps tries to better himself, and leaves Ann for Helen Walsingham, of a local family who think they are a cut above the rest. Helen, who does love Kipps, is also determined to improve him. Helen's brother, at the same time, begins to take over Kipps' financial affairs.

Some time later, Kipps meets Ann again when she is employed as a servant at the home of Mrs Botting, a friend of Helen's mother. On seeing Ann treated badly by her employer, Kipps soon realises that the people he is surrounded by have attitudes and values very different to his own. Knowing that it is Ann he really loves, he stops his engagement to Helen and returns to Ann, who he marries.

Kipps is still rather careless with his money, and decided to have a large house built. Unfortunately, Helen's brother has continued to speculate with Kipps' money with disastrous results. He has to sell the house, and just has enough left to rent a bookshop with accommodation for he and Ann.

A year later, they have started a family, and are relatively content with their new, modest, lifestyle. Until, that is, Chitterlow returns unexpectedly one day with some surprising news...

Credits

Book by Beverley Cross. Music and Lyrics by David Heneker. From the novel 'Kipps' by H.G. Wells.
Original production by Harold Fielding at the Cambridge Theatre, London.

By arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd.

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NODA - The National Operatic and Dramatic Association
Redditch Operatic Society is affiliated to the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA)

BEST PROGRAMME 2004

42ND STREET

NOMINATED

BEST MUSICAL 2005

HAPPY AS A SANDBAG

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BEST MUSICAL 2007

JEKYLL & HYDE

WINNER

BEST POSTER 2009

HOT MIKADO

NOMINATED

BEST PROGRAMME 2009

HOT MIKADO

WINNER

BEST PROGRAMME 2010

50 YEARS OF ROS

NOMINATED

BEST PROGRAMME 2011

THE KING AND I

NOMINATED

BEST MUSICAL 2011

THE KING AND I

NOMINATED

BEST PROGRAMME 2012

SUMMER HOLIDAY

WINNER

BEST MUSICAL 2012

SUMMER HOLIDAY

NOMINATED

BEST MUSICAL 2013

WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND

NOMINATED

BEST MUSICAL 2014

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

WINNER

BEST PROGRAMME 2014

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

WINNER

BEST MUSICAL 2016

WITCHES OF EASTWICK

NOMINATED

 

Redditch Operatic Society

ROS - the area's biggest amateur operatic society and musical theatre group performing at the Palace Theatre in Redditch, Worcestershire

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