Bitter Sweet
29th October - 5th November 1983
Photographs by John Tustin
Production Officials
Director Audrey H. McL. Raistrick
Musical Director Jessie Whittaker
Choreographer Wendy Duckworth
Singer/Freda Irene Bowers
Vincent Howard/ Cedric Ballantyne Mike Taylor
Dolly Chamberlain Shirley Greaves
Lord Henry Jekyll/ Vernon Craft Andrew Turton
Marchioness of Shayne Renee Easterbrook
Nita Sharon Hounslea
Helen/Mrs Devon Hazel Gray
Jackie Janice Warburton
Sarah Millick Joyce Foster
Carl Linden Ross Dunning
Mrs Millick Claire Clarkson
Hon Hugh Devon Graham Yardley
Lady Devon Mary Greaves
Sir Arthur Fenchurch /Herr Schlick Ernest Pollitt
Victoria Kathleen Holland
Harriet Mary Pycroft
Honor Heather Kirby
Jane Dorothy Yardley
Effie Helen Bennett
Gloria Gillian Kirby
Lord Steere Norman Bowers
Lord James Keith Richardson
Lord Sorrel Bill Steel
Mr Vale Gary Hopkinson
Mr Bethel Ivor Tavener
Mr Proutie Adrian Pollitt
Stage Violinist George Wood
Lotte Betty Towler
Hansi Margaret Steel
Gussi Glenys Collinson
Manon Glenys Poole
Captain August Lutte Robin Foster
Lieutenant Tranisch Alec Greaves
Marquis of Shayne Jack Sutcliffe
Bertram Sellick Colin Crompton
Henry Jade Stanley Collinson
Carole Brooks, Diane Ivill, Barbara Martin, Vanessa Ryder, Vicky Spencer, Ruth Wilcock
David Raistrick, Norma Dootson, Catherine Dunning, Barbara Haslam, Norma Pollitt

  • Bolton Evening News Review
  • Manchester Evening News Review
Noel Coward's "Bitter Sweet" has a rich vein of melody flowing through it, most of it, like the hit song "I'll See You Again" in three-four time. It's modelled on the Viennese operettas of Strauss, but with Coward's own beautiful bone-dry lyrics.

Walmsley Church AODS is giving it a welcome revival this week, firmly directed by Audrey H. McL. Raistrick and with good support from the musicians under Jessie Whittaker.

Coward provides some memorable tunes, including "Zigeuner" and the regulation drinking song for the soldiers. But he's at his witty best when writing for the "outsiders", the shady ladies of the town and the effeminate fops of Vienna cafe society, revelling in the disapproval they provoke.

The show has its own rompingly rude bunch of flappers, but concentrates for the most part on the vain, self-absorbed members of the aristocracy.

At the centre of the show is the young pair of lovers, with soprano Joyce Foster singing attractively, and hinting at the girl's underlying wistfulness.

She is well partnered by Ross Dunning, a conspicuously "nice guy" as the cafe pianist Carl Linden. Glenys Poole gives a good performance too as the cloche-hatted mantrap, Manon.

Walmsley's production is at its best in the effective cabaret atmosphere of the second act, in which Coward obviously felt most at home. It's a rare revival of a large cast show which was first given a spectacular staging by C.B. Cochran in Manchester in 1929, the same that Walmsley performed its very first show.

Ron Lawson
Noel Coward's large-scale operetta "Bitter Sweet" i snot an easy production. Walmsley Church Operatic, Egerton, Bolton, are not a society to shirk a challenge.

Joyce Foster and Ross Dunning were admirably cast as the romantic lovers and handled their love duets without too much of the mawkishness that usual;ly mars this musical.

Glenys Poole revelled in the role of Manon and the chorus excelled in their rendering of Tokay.

The quartet numbers "Ladies Of The Town" and "Green Carnations" gave a timely boost to Audrey McL Raistrick's very competent production.

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