Dereham Theatre Company
Click image to see full poster
Director - Trevor Thurston
7th to 9th March 2019
at Dereham Memorial Hall
GLADYS PUGH - Karen Bates
JEFFREY FAIRBROTHER - Paul Woodhouse
PEGGY OLLERENSHAW - Marea Smithson
TED BOVIS - Andy Lofthouse
SPIKE DIXON - Lee Chapman
FRED QUILLY - Gary Davison
MR. PARTRIDGE - Tony Wilds
YVONNE STUART-HARGREAVES - Val Lofthouse
BARRY STUART-HARGREAVES - Charlie Collins
SYLVIA GARNSEY - Lauren Baston
BETTY WHISTLER - Holly Edwards
TRACEY BENTWOOD - Kara Field
GARY BOLTON - Shannon Kingston-Miles
DAWN FRESHWATER- Debbie Clark
HILARY BOVIS - Ruth Hannent
BAILIFF - Steve Hitchman
MR. PRITCHARD - Mark Wells
"How lucky can you get? Audition time for an iconic show from yesteryear (some of us remember it first time round!). Indeed many have had the experience provided by those halcyon days at Butlins…(other holiday camps were available, only the coats were changed!).
As the auditionees displayed their talents, it must have been uncanny for the astute Director to perceive that he had a near perfect combination of styles and personalities to fit the necessary characterisation of some very disparate roles. This group of actors could easily be superimposed onto the screen of the original show!
This type of show runs a tightrope for a director who has to satisfy the purists and also convince a new and perhaps younger audience…Ok the scripts are funny but can so easily become dated and even dull. Here we had a laugh a minute provided by actors who must have researched their roles and, where required, practised the necessary accents and affectations!
Take a bow Gladys Pugh (Karen Bates), her of the lilting Welsh accent and joyously ‘happy’ persona, brilliantly played, with a not so hidden crush on the unlikely, archaeology graduate, Camp Manager, Jeffrey Fairbrother (Paul Woodhouse), whose lack of decision making, and cringing self doubts, was a joy to observe.
From my own memory Camp Chalet Maid Peggy Ollerenshaw (Marea Smithson) was the one who often stole the show, and here we had the emotional pull of unfulfilled ambition so nearly, but never, achieved! Hers was a tour de force performance and pulled the heartstrings of the whole audience!
The more difficult role of Camp Comedian Ted Bovis (Andy Lofthouse) was perhaps the most difficult, but with his ‘loud’ check suit and a scam for every occasion he filled the large size boots of Paul Shane with style, even if his money grabbing wife Hilary (Ruth Hannent) did not agree. His mentoring of Spike Dixon (Lee Chapman) left a little to be desired, but in return Spike was able to rise above the ‘put downs’, and show at least that he had a spark of intelligence, as he tried almost too hard to gain approval from his mentor!
Don’t put your money on any nag ridden by ex Jockey Fred Quilly (Gary Davidson), his best rides were behind him, and even the Camps Donkey Derby was a chore! But in the ‘grumpy old man’ stakes you could safely put your money on failed actor Mr Partridge (Tony Wilds), now reduced to his unseen role as Camp Punch and Judy Man, with a grumble for every occasion, and then more!
We had ‘Strictly’ cast offs, or perhaps it was ‘Come dancing’ in those days, the immaculate ‘ posh couple, Yvonne-Stuart Hargreaves (Val Lofthouse) and Husband Barry Stuart-Hargraves (Charlie Collins) always delivering withering and aloof comments as they saw themselves as the Stars of the Camp Show, even if no one else did!.
All these were well supported by other yellow coats vying for the coveted ‘Yellow Coat of The Season’, not sure the voting worked, but they certainly worked at it! Well done to Sylvia, Betty, Tracey and Gerry ( Lauren Baston, Holly Edwards, Kara Field, Shannon Kingston-Miles).
Dawn Freshwater (Debbie Clarke) and Mr Pritchard/Announcer (Mark Wells) plus a well delivered debut to the stage from Bailiff (Steve Hitchman) made this team the complete deal… A large dose of nostalgia and good old fashioned, if a tad non PC, humour, gave us a great evenings entertainment. So Hi-Di-Hi delivered a show full of Ho-DI- Ho! Well done."
Everybody's Talking About DOSYTCo
12th - 13th July 2019
Dereham Memorial Hall
71st Annual General Meeting
29th April 2019
1st - 5th October 2019
Dereham Memorial Hall
27th Dec 2019- 1st Jan 2020
Dereham Memorial Hall