High Society
Nomination - Best Male Comedy Performance (NODA) - David Wilson
Nomination - Best Direction of a Musical (NODA) - Nora Howcroft
24th - 29th April 2017
Photograps by John Tustin
Production Officials
Director Nora Howcroft
Musical Director Tom Bowes
Choreographer Vicki Wilson
Asst. Musical Director Tim Power
Tracy Samantha Lord Lindsay Farnworth
Dinah Lord Catherine Wooldridge
Mother Lord Julie Ogden
Uncle Willie David Wilson
C.K. Dexter Haven Steve Benson
Liz Imbrie Adrienne Wormald
Mike Connor Tristan Nixon
George Kittredge Joe Davies
Seth Lord Mike Taylor
Stewart Ball, Jane Bickerstaffe, Carole Brooks, Kathy Clift, Gill Davies, Paul Duckworth, Joyce Foster, Michelle Foster, Pam Gaffney, Val Greenhalgh, Teresa Harper, Linda Hardy, Mitchell Higson, Dorothy Jones, Barbara Martin, Dave McGreavy, Gill Pollitt, Zoe Pollitt, Katie Ryding, Joyce Walters, David Witt
  • Tracy, Uncle Willie and Mother Lord Tracy, Uncle Willie and Mother Lord
  • Dexter and Tracy Dexter and Tracy
  • Mike and Liz - "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" Mike and Liz - "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire"
  • Dinah, Mike and Tracy - "I Love Paris" Dinah, Mike and Tracy - "I Love Paris"
  • Tracy and George Tracy and George
  • Uncle Willie - "She's Got That Thing" Uncle Willie - "She's Got That Thing"
  • Tracy - "Once Upon A Time" Tracy - "Once Upon A Time"
  • Servants - "High Society" Servants - "High Society"
  • Tracy - "It's Alright With Me" Tracy - "It's Alright With Me"
  • Mike and Liz Mike and Liz
  • Dexter and Dinah Dexter and Dinah
  • Mike, Tracy and George - "Let's Misbehave" Mike, Tracy and George - "Let's Misbehave"
  • Servants Servants
  • Mother and Seth Lord Mother and Seth Lord
  • Mike, Dinah and Dexter Mike, Dinah and Dexter
  • Tracy and George Tracy and George
  • Liz - "He's A Right Guy" Liz - "He's A Right Guy"
  • The Company - "Finale" The Company - "Finale"

  • Bolton News
  • NODA North West
    Show Report
  • Here4You
  • Bolton News
The Bolton News Review

Walmsley puts on a swell party

Director Nora Howcroft presents a swell party up at Walmsley with a faithful production of this Cole Porter classic.

Musical Director Tom Bowes ensures that the songs flow along nicely with that enthusiastic bounce of the era. Highlights include "True Love", "Let's Misbehave!", "Well Did You Evah?" and "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?".

Lindsay Farnworth makes a charming heroine in the Grace Kelly role, complemented by the excellent Steve Benson as crooner C.K. Dexter Haven. Tristan Nixon tackles the Frank Sinatra role confidently, and the foursome is completed by Adrienne Wormald in a good performance as brash yet vulnerable Liz Imbrie.

Strong support comes from Catherine Wooldridge, Julie Ogden, Joe Davies and Mike Taylor, and David Wilson excels as humourous Uncle Willie.

Set transitions are slick and seamless, performed by the chorus with no stage crew in sight, and are well thought out. Vicki Wilson's choreography has the cast performing many lively routines, and costumes by Mary Pycroft and Julie Kirby are just right for the piece.

Peter Haslam

NODA North West Show Report

I suppose it would not be a lie to say that Cole Porter wrote his own review for this show in the lyrics of just one of the many hit numbers in the show – "What A Swell Party This Is"! The rest of the show just brims over with memorable tunes including what I think should be my signature tune – "Say It With Gin". Despite the fact that it is – to quote a line from the show "just the privileged classes enjoying their privileges" - I find it impossible not to be captivated by the music, and the sheer 'feel good factor' of the whole show.

The music was generally good and congratulations on maintaining such a good sound balance. I think I would have preferred that the cast microphones were turned down just a little as I thought I detected a little distortion on some of them on some occasions – but that is really quite a picky point as the overall balance was so good.

I must congratulate the Society and director Nora Howcroft for the way the production moved through the innumerable scenes – being a show from a film always involves endless scene changes and these were performed, often by the cast, in a very slick and efficient way and perhaps most importantly without dropping the pace in any way. Speaking of pace – the whole show moved at a tremendous pace throughout – almost too fast on some occasions as the audience were not always able to applaud when they felt they wanted to for fear that they might miss something.

The costumes were very good and the 'chorus of servants' in particular looked very good – it is that attention to detail which makes all the difference – the chorus looked as good and suitably dressed as the principals – well done!

I was very impressed with the ensemble work – the chorus had obviously been drilled to within an inch of their lives – but oh how well it paid off! The routines were simple but highly effective and all performed very well – slick and absolutely in step. Just whilst speaking of the chorus, it was lovely to see such a wide range of ages all working so very well together.

The whole show was well cast, some of the ages perhaps a little 'off' but that did not detract in any way from the whole show as there were some great characterisations and some simply wonderful facial expressions. The humour was well brought out and greatly enjoyed by your almost capacity audience. There were some quite excellent examples of how to play someone who had had 'one too many' – almost too good – just wondering if it was observation or experience?

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening, the society had obviously worked together with feeling and enjoyment to produce a light hearted and entertaining show. The obvious talents of the entire cast and production team produced an evening of theatre worthy of their talents: the audience clearly enjoyed the show and rewarded the production with loud and much deserved applause. My thanks go to Walmsley Church AO & DS - on stage, behind the scenes and front of house - for a most enjoyable evening and very warm welcome. I very much look forward to my next visit to the Walmsley Church Hall.

Christine Hunter Hughes
Here4You Magazine

A capacity first night audience were treated to a spectacular production of Cole Porter's iconic musical 'High Society' from a dazzling company who pulled out all the stops with relish.

Featuring no less than 18 great Cole Porter songs there was never any doubt that this award winning society would not do them justice and this company did so with exceptional accomplishment.

This society brims with talent in every aspect from staging, lighting, costumes, make-up, front of house and performers, all of which goes into successful live theatre.

The company, who were similar to a Greek chorus narrating the show, were the servants of the multi rich 'Lord' family and they not only sang, danced and acted but also changed the scenery and props with a dexterity that was so controlled and added to their unique role in this production. They were outstanding.

There are only nine characters in this musical but each and every actor filled the stage with their very presence.

Lindsay Farnworth took on the role of the spoilt little rich girl 'Tracy Samantha Lord' and certainly added a new dimension to this character. Dressed in beautiful costumes she sang, danced and acted her heart out and with the help of three of the servants she even did a live, on-stage costume change whilst still singing.

Steve Benson as 'Tracy's' ex husband 'C.K. Dexter Haven' was excellent and as usual turned in a superb performance as did Adrienne Wormald playing the role of 'Liz Imbrie', the magazine photographer.

Lindsay, Steve and Adrienne were elegance personified.

Rascally yet lovable 'Uncle Willie' was played to the hilt by David Wilson and his character got slowly more drunk and funnier during the performance but he never let his acting go one step beyond control and develop into farce.

Tristan Nixon as reporter 'Mike Connor' and Joe Davies as 'George Kittredge' both turned in excellent characterisations which were again very funny, one with dead-pan humour and the other with his oafish behaviour that did not quite fit in with the New England nouveau-riche and they too have fine singing voices.

Completing the 'Lord Family' were Mike Taylor as 'Seth', Julie Ogden as 'Mother Lord' and Catherine Wooldridge as 'Dinah' and here yet once more we had characterisations of such a high standard from these three fine actors and singers.

Bringing the whole production together were Musical Director Tom Bowes, Vicki Wilson who choreographed the show with outstanding imagination and flair and the show was directed by Nora Howcroft.

It was hard to imagine that this was an amateur production so all credit to this unique and incredibly talented society.

Here4You Magazine
The Bolton News article - 21st April 2017

Cast of 30 pulling out all the stops for performance of iconic musical High Society

A cast of 30 will be making a big song and dance over an iconic musical.

On Monday, Walmsley Church AODS will be performing Cole Porter’s High Society for the first time in the society’s history.

Nora Howcroft is directing, with musical director Tom Bowes and choreographer Vicki Wilson.

She said: “There are some fantastic costumes in this production, out of this world. It’s set in 1938 so you can imagine what the costumes look like, they are absolutely brilliant!

“The company of 21 do the narration with song throughout the show, it is very much like a Greek chorus.

“They are the servants and narrate the show in song and change all of the sets and props live as the show is progressing.

“There are some lovely dance numbers and songs which everyone knows and only nine principals. It’s a small cast but a very big company.”

The comedy romance centres around a pretentious Oyster Bay socialite who is planning to wed an equally pretentious executive when her ex-husband arrives to disrupt the proceedings.

It features classic Cole Porter songs, including Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

Nora said: “It’s going to be absolutely superb. It’s a variation of High Society with lots more songs in it. There’s changing scenes, changing sets and the whole company has been involved. I’ve learned from watching professional theatre.

“You can learn a lot from watching them. It has helped us brilliantly.

“We had the set together a month ago, we are very well prepared, and the tickets are already selling well.”

Taking on the three main roles are Lindsay Farnworth as socialite Tracy Samantha Lord, Joe Davies as her executive fiancé George Kittredge and Steve Benson as her unwelcome ex C K Dexter Haven.

The show opens on Monday and runs until Saturday, April 29 at the Parish Hall Theatre in Egerton. For tickets call the box office on 01204 305812.

Rosalind Saul
Friday, 21st April 2017

Read the full article and see photos.

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