Half A Sixpence
WINNER - Best Programme, Standard Class (NODA)
5th - 10th May 1997
Photographs by John Tustin
Production Officials
Director Graham R Edgington
Musical Director David Perks
Arthur Kipps Andrew E Holt
Ann Pornick Adrienne Wormald
Mrs Walsingham Joyce Walters
Helen Walsingham Jan Ashton
Young Walsingham Roger Higginbottom
Mr Shalford David M Raistrick
Chitterlow Roy E Iddon
Mrs Botting Kathleen Holland
Sid Pornick David Wilson
Buggins James R Edgington
Pearce David Smalley
Carshot Andrew Turton
Flo Bates Vicki Wilson
Victoria Lisa Swift
Kate Gillian Pollitt
Emma Julie Kirby
Nicola Worrall, David Witt, Barbara Cotter, Carole Brooks, Ruth Prescott, Kathy Turton, Colin Perks, Mary Pycroft, Joanne Almond, Yvonne Neary, Norman Bowers, Barbara Haslam, Brian Merrick, Norma Dootson, Jane Bickerstaffe, Ros Binge, Paul J Duckworth, Hazel Gray, Irene Bowers, Janet Witt, Paul Brennan, Nicola McKay, Michael Taylor, Barbara Martin
  • Kipps and Ann Kipps and Ann
  • Carshot and the Shop Boys Carshot and the Shop Boys
  • Flo and Kipps serve a customer in the shop Flo and Kipps serve a customer in the shop
  • Ann and the Shop Girls "I Don't Believe A Word Of It" Ann and the Shop Girls "I Don't Believe A Word Of It"
  • Mrs Walsingham Mrs Walsingham
  • Pearce and Kipps Pearce and Kipps
  • Mr Shalford in the Emporium with the Shop Boys and Girls Mr Shalford in the Emporium with the Shop Boys and Girls
  • Mr Shalford Mr Shalford
  • Chitterlow with Kate and Emma Chitterlow with Kate and Emma
  • Sid, Pearce, Buggins and Kipps "Economy" Sid, Pearce, Buggins and Kipps "Economy"
  • Kipps and Company "Money To Burn" Kipps and Company "Money To Burn"
  • Kipps and the Walsinghams Kipps and the Walsinghams
  • Mrs Botting Mrs Botting
  • Kipps and the Shop Boys Kipps and the Shop Boys
  • Kipps, Mrs Walsingham and Helen Kipps, Mrs Walsingham and Helen
  • "Flash, Bang, Wallop" "Flash, Bang, Wallop"
  • Chitterlow visits Kipps and Ann Chitterlow visits Kipps and Ann
  • The Company The Company

  • Bolton Evening News Review
  • NODA North West News Review
WALMSLEY'S colourful production of this British musical brims with enthusiasm. It's a three-hit show and the company makes the most of Half a Sixpence, If the Rain's Got to Fall and Flash, Bang, Wallop.

Director/choreographer Graham Edgington delivers a pleasant package of singing and dancing routines which are easy on the ear and the eye. He uses his principals to good effect and in Andrew Holt has an engaging Kipps. Holt's considerable acting ability is seen particularly in his scenes with Ann, another charming performance from Adrienne Wormald. Jan Ashton shines as the superior Helen Walsingham and Roy Iddon hams it up in style as the exuberant Chitterlow.

The scenery, as always with Walmsley, is exceptionally good although the numerous changes slows down the continuity sometimes. One of the highlights of this production is the Flash, Bang Wallop wedding routine which works well with the principals and chorus clearly enjoying themselves.

Based on the H G Wells novel, Kipps, the show centres on the draper's assistant who inherits a fortune, loses it and finds happiness. It is Walmsley's first show of their current season and seemed a popular choice with the first night audience.

Doreen Crowther
This is the quintessential ENGLISH show with its background of the seaside, piers, emporiums, snobbish upper-class, down-at-heel Victorian domestics and oppressed working classes.

The producer/choreographer Graham R. Edgington had successfully managed these characteristics with his cast but, unusually for this society, was not helped by the over-long, and occasionally noisy, scene changes which so disrupt the audience's concentration. The society also had a new musical director in the form of David Perks. Considering this was his first time in control of a full orchestra he handled the musical score admirably. The songs were all taken at the correct pace whilst the big production numbers, "Party on the House" and "Flash, Bang, Wallop" zipped along at a speed of knots. Well done, David.

The minor supporting principals were all well cast in that their overall appearance and height in relation to each one's partner and other cast members was in balance. Kathleen Holland (Mrs Botting), Joyce Walters (Mrs Walsingham) and Roger Higginbottom (Young Walsingham) were all suitably snobbish whilst Jan Ashton was excellent as the gentle and caring Helen Walsingham. At the Emporium David M. Raistrick made an imposing Mr. Shalford with Andrew Turton as the suitably subservient Carshot. The shop assistants, James R. Edgington (Biggins), David Smalley (Pearce), David Wilson (Sid Pornick), Vicki Wilson (Flo Bates), Lisa Swift (Victoria), Gillian Pollitt (Kate) and Julie Kirby (Emma) were well matched and worked together as a team. Roy E. Iddon was the very essence of the Victorian actor-playwright Chitterlow. His exuberant mannerisms lifted the proceedings at each of his entrances.

And so to the leading players. Adrienne Wormald as Anne and Andrew E. Holt as Kipps both provided inspired performances. Adrienne was an attractive Anne who moved well and has a fine singing voice whilst Andrew, on whose shoulders much of this show hinges, attacked the role with an abundance of enthusiasm and vigour. Chorus movements were occasionally a little cramped and stilted and perhaps more could have been achieved in this department. However, the show had much to be recommended about it.

Glyn Neary

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