PARIS, where all the women are young and all the men are middle-aged, is the theme of La Vie Parisienne courageously taken by Witham Operatic Society for their autumn show. On the ﬁrst night the home made scenery was easy on the eye, the costumes from earlier in the century were most attractive and there was some good singing of Offenbach’s catchy music.
I fear the production was somewhat hackneyed to start with. Couples in act one were liable to be arrested for loitering and there was little originality in the grouping. However, who were we to complain when we had glamorous Patsy Doy as Gabrielle, Elisabeth Miller as the Baroness, ebullient Stewart Adkins as a millionaire from foreign parts and Tom Magnone with Howard Brooks as a couple of gentlemen out for a good time.
And a very well-judged character performance from Nicholas Clough as Baron Gondremarck. Lorraine Ely was ideally cast as saucy Metella. She walked the stage delightfully but a cold had deprived her of her singing voice — let US hope it will return very soon. But Pat Briggs was in very good form as Pauline, and the housekeeper Geoff Coverdale, was impressive in everything he did.
CAST: Tom Magnone, Howard Brooks, Lorraine Ely, Terry Want, Edward Maltby, Nicholas Clough, Elisabeth Miller, Mick Adams, Stewart Adkins, Patsy Doy, Philip Waller, Pat Briggs , Lydia Clough, Kathryn Adkins, Brian Clark, Tim Clark, Geoff Coverdale e.
Chorus and dancers: Katrina Brooks, Muriel Chambers, Brian Clark, Tim Clark, Julie Hampshire, Janice Haw]-tes, Jo Wood, Helene Jones, Edward Maltby, Anne Marsden, Yvonne Mitchell, Susan Page, Joyce Ryder, Patricia Robinson, Mary Schloeser, Bernice Scott, Gary Smith, Edna Starling, Carole Turner, Philip Waller, Kathryn Adkins.
Musical director Ronald E. Scott, stage manager Audrey King, assistant stage manager Derek Hunt, lighting Robin Dedman, Stage crew Les King, john Reed, Mick Adams, Roger Clark, Brian Howell, Terry Want, Tom Barnes, tabs Philip Harris, props Anne Hunt, Dorothy Reed, Mandy Smith, Helen Collins, make-up June Smith, wardrobe Margaret Schloeser and Nesta Hinchliffe, prompt Ewart Cornﬁeld, front of house John Gunson, programmes June Locke, scenery built by The Society, designed by Chris Snow, accompanists at rehearsal Bernice Scott, Peter Humphrey, Tracey Wheeler.