Manchester Evening News "Oscar" - Irene Taylor
Manchester Evening News "Oscar" - Arnold Knowles
14th - 19th May 1973
Production Officials
Director David Tyldsley
Musical Director Kenneth Bayliss
Choreographer Eunice Ogden
Lavender Brown Rosemary Nightingale
Lily Brown Susan Briggs
Rose Brown Christine Roberts
Daisy Brown Mary Whittaker
Violet Brown Glenys Poole
Willie Clive Austin
Sam John McGuire
Joe James Unsworth
Tom Gordon Green
Captain Brown Ernest Pollitt
Uncle Fred Harry Lee
Bob Brown Ken McMinn
Chrysanthemum Brown Irene Taylor
Ma Carroty Freda Wigson
Mary Ann Blessington-Briggs Glenys Entwistle
John Blessington-Briggs Arnold Knowles
Emily Brenda Dixon
James Tom Topping
Pepe Robin Foster
Ching Loo Jeff Taylor
Policeman Edwin Williams
Cynthia Potts Audrey Raistrick
Edith Hackett Brenda Dixon
Monica Helen Bennett
Fourth Suffragette Dorothy Yardley
Horace Maurice Windsor
Audrey Austin, Dorothy Bramwell, Sylvia Fishwick, Chris Foster, Millie Hackett, Barbara Haslam, Carol Lever, Joyce Richardson, Linda Salt, Mary Topping, Jane Trotman, Janice Warburton, Maureen Wright
  • Bolton Evening News Review
  • Manchester Evening News Review
Chrysanthemum Brown went for the morning milk. That little chore had some pretty unexpected consequences, including a trip to Buenos Aires, kidnappings, assignations, re-assignations, discoveries, opium dens, conflagrations and visits to the Skull and Chopsticks. This odd mixture is the sum and substance of “Chrysanthemum” a sort of musical play by Neville Phillips and Robin Chancellor with music by Robb Stewart, which the Walmsley Church Amateur Operatic Society are putting on at the church hall all this week. It may sound a bit confusing but it all seems quite logical at the time and this is much to the credit of David Tyldsley, the producer, who contrives to keep the action fast moving. For some of this he is, in turn, indebted to the stage staff, who cope with innumerable changes of scene with that efficiency for which they are already famous. This time they bring off a heavy rainstorm  and a fire with complete success. Irene Taylor is a lively, attractive Chrysanthemum and Arnold Knowles supports her well as the slightly stuffy John Blessington-Briggs. Both sing and dance charmingly. Glenys Entwistle, as Mary, and Ken McMinn as Bob, provide a secondary or sub-romance – nothing is stinted in this show. Good characterisations come from Ernest Pollitt as Capt Brown, Harry Lee as Uncle Fred and from a whole host of sisters, firemen, Chinese and suffragettes. The music is good and under musical director Kenneth Bayliss the company sing it with conviction. C.P.
This saga of Miss Chrysanthemum Brown, who went out for the morning milk and returned three years later an abandoned woman, is a send up of melodrama with all the pitfalls this implies for amateurs. It was no saving grace for poor Chrysanthemum that she did not forget the milk, for was she not a wanton woman. But Walmsley Church Operatic Society were not exactly innocents abroad. They had two saving graces at their Egerton, Bolton school room Irene Taylor as the flame of Buenos Aires, and Arnold Knowles as the greenhorn of Greenwich, the primly proper Mr Blessington- Briggs. This was brilliant casting. I cannot think of two other players who would be so exactly right for the parts and who could complement each other in two such completely contrasting characterisations as perfectly as they did. An audience which began the evening in dubious mood finished it eating out of their hands and relishing every morsel of well timed wit and sly innuendo. There were other neat character cameos - Dorothy Yardley was a splendid principal dancer - and some imaginative production touches by David Tyldesley, including the ship impression in a chorus ensemble. But this show unmistakably belonged to Irene and Arnold, who have given this remarkable church society another show hit. Tom Wildern

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